Association of American Publishers (AAP) Reports Publisher Revenue at $6 Billion for First Six Months of 2019 Revenue Up 6.9% Year-to-Date; Downloaded Audio Book Revenue Increases 33.8%
The Association of American Publishers today announced that participating publisher revenue reached nearly $6 billion for the first six months of 2019, an increase of 6.9% over the first six months of last year. The reported revenue, which was featured in a StatShot report, reflects all tracked categories, which include Trade (consumer publications), PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing and University Presses.
During the period:
- In the area of Trade, net revenue for paper formats, including hardback, paperback, mass market, and board books grew 2.5% as compared to the first six months of last year, reaching $2.5 billion. Paper formats accounted for 72.1% of all reported sales during the first six months of 2019.
- E-book revenues were at $493 million, a decline of 3.8% as compared to the same period in 2018.
- Downloaded audio was up 33.8%, reaching $279 million while physical audio declined by 18.0%, coming in at $17 million. Downloaded audio accounted for 8.1% of all Trade sales during the first six months of 2019.
- Children and Young Adult books were $919 million, an increase of 7.4% over the same period in 2018.
- Adult books were at $2.2 billion, an increase of 1.4% over the same period last year.
- Religious press revenues were at $328 million, an increase of 11.4% over the first six months of 2018.
- Professional publishing, in the fields of business, law, medicine, science and technology, were at $274 million, an increase of 1.1% over the same period last year.
For the first six months of 2019, publisher net revenue for Trade, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., was up 3.8% as compared to the same period last year, reaching $3.5 billion. Religious presses led in revenue growth with an 11.4% increase over the same period last year, and now represent 9.5% of all reported Trade revenue.
Jan – June 2019 Trade Book Net Revenue (in millions)
Jan – June 2019 Jan – June 2018 Percent Change Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction $2,206.8 $2,176.2 1.4% Children’s/YA $918.8 $855.2 7.4% Religious Presses $328.2 $294.6 11.4% Total Trade $3,453.9 $3,326.0 3.8%
In terms of format, downloaded audio books continued to see the highest growth, with a 33.8% increase in total revenue for the first six months of 2019, totaling $278.6 million net revenue. While eBooks declined 3.8% year to date, eBook revenue for University Presses increased 10.8% and Religious Presses increased 4.1%. Digital formats (downloaded audio and eBooks) represent 22.3% of reported trade revenue.
Jan – June 2019 Trade Net Revenue in Format (in millions)
Jan – June 2019 Jan – June 2018 Percent Change Hardback $1,183.2 $1,158.5 2.1% Paperback & Mass Market $1,251.3 $1,217.7 2.8% eBooks $492.7 $512.3 -3.8% Downloaded Audio $278.6 $208.2 33.8% Physical Audio $17.3 $21.1 -18.0% Board Books $57.2 $54.6 4.6% Other $173.6 $153.7 13.0% Total $3,453.9 $3,326.0 3.8%
During the first six months of 2019 total revenues for participating education and scholarly publishers, which include Professional books, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education, and University Presses, saw an uptick, reaching $2,520.0 million and increasing 11.6% compared with the same period last year. The largest growth was attributable to K-12 sector.
Jan – June 2019 Education and Scholarly Publishing Net Revenue (in millions)
Jan – June 2019 Jan – June 2018 Percent Change Higher Ed Course Materials $918.3 $969.6 -5.3% PreK-12 Instructional Materials $1,305.4 $993.6 31.4% Professional Books $273.9 $271.0 1.1% University Presses $22.5 $23.0 -2.1% Total $2,520.0 $2,257.2 11.6%
Participating publishers reported revenue growth in Professional books for March 2019 (18.0%), May 2019 (11.8%), and June 2019 (21.0%), but the category was relatively flat year-to-date with 1.1% net revenue growth at $273.9 million.
Jan – June 2019 Professional Book Publishing Net Revenue by Category (in millions)
Jan – June 2019 Jan – June 2018 Percent Change Business $27.5 $27.0 1.9% Medical $113.5 $103.1 10.1% Law, Technical, Scientific & Other $132.9 $140.9 -5.7% Total $273.9 $271.0 1.1%
Publisher net revenue, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes revenue from about 1,360 publishers, with participation subject to change over time.
StatShot reports are designed to give an up-to-date snapshot of the publishing industry using the best data currently available. The reports reflect participants’ most recent reported revenue for current and previous periods, enabling readers to compare revenue on a year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report. For example, the current report indicates that, based on current data, publishing revenues were $6 billion for the first six months of 2019, an increase of 6.9% over the first six months of last year.
It is not, however, possible to make apples-to-apples comparisons to StatShot reports issued in previous years because: a) The number of StatShot participants fluctuates over time, with the pool of participants growing or shrinking in each report. This year’s 6-month report, for example, drew data from more publishers than last years, and b) It is a common accounting practices for businesses, including publishers, to restate revenue numbers based on updated information. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports, providing information that is more up-to-date and accurate. This year’s report on revenues for the first six months of 2019 reflects some restatements for 2018 revenues.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.