November 18, 2019

Association of American Publishers (AAP) Releases August 2019 Statshot Report; Paper Formats Continue to Dominate Trade Categories

From the Association of American Publishers (AAP):

The Association of American Publishers today released a StatShot report for August of 2019 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (consumer publications), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing and University Presses.

Overall participating publisher revenue for the month was $2.0 billion, a decrease of 8.0% as compared to August of 2018.

Education

  • K-12 Instructional Materials stood out during the month, coming in at $605.9 million, an increase of 12.1% compared to the same period last year. August 2019 marked the sixth consecutive month that participating publishers have reported growth in the category.
  • Higher Ed Course Materials revenues were $610.0 million, a decline of 24.7% over the same period last year, in part attributable to a multi-year decline in college student spending on course materials.

Trade Formats

  • Paper formats continued to dominate Trade, accounting for $528.6 million, or 79.9% of the category’s $661.2 million in revenue for the month.
    • Among Paper formats, Board Books contributed $17.5 million, an increase of 19.4% as compared to August of 2018.
    • Hardback books were flat, accounting for 34.9%, coming in at $230.7 million
  • eBook revenues decreased by 7.3% as compared to August 2018, coming in at $86.3 million.
  • Downloaded Audio increased 5.7% over the same month in 2018, coming in at $43.9 million for the month.

Trade Categories

  • The Children and Young Adult category reached $197.1 million in revenues, an increase of 7.9% over the same month last year.
  • Adult books were $406.9 million, a decrease of 7.5% compared to August 2018.

Trade Publishing

For August 2019, publisher net revenue for Trade, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., was down 3.6% as compared to the same period last year, coming in at $661.2 million. Children’s/YA Books, however, were up by 7.9%, reaching $197.1 million to represent 29.8% of all reported Trade revenue.

Aug 2019 Trade Book Net Revenue (in millions)

Aug 2019 Aug 2018 Percent Change
Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction $406.9 $439.8 -7.5%
Children’s/YA $197.1 $182.6 7.9%
Religious Presses $57.2 $63.5 -10.0%
Total Trade $661.2 $685.9 -3.6%

Paper formats represented 79.9% of reported trade revenue for the month, accounting for $528.6. Within paper formats Board Books grew, accounting for $17.5 million, an increase of 19.4% over August 2018.

Downloaded Audio was also up, reaching $43.9 million, an increase of 5.7% over August 2018.

Aug 2019 Trade Net Revenue by Format (in millions)

Aug 2019 Aug 2018 Percent Change
Hardback $230.7 $232.5 -0.8%
Paperback & Mass Market $243.1 $264.0 -7.9%
eBooks $86.3 $93.0 -7.3%
Downloaded Audio $43.9 $41.5 5.7%
Physical Audio $2.4 $2.7 -10.8%
Board Books $17.5 $14.7 19.4%
Other $37.2 $37.5 -0.9%
Total $661.2 $685.9 -3.6%

Education

During August 2019 total revenues for participating education and scholarly publishers, which include Professional Books, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education, and University Presses, were $1.3 billion, down 10.2% compared with the same period last year. The K-12 Instructional Materials category, on the other hand, saw growth, continuing a trend that started in March of 2019.

Aug 2019 Education and Scholarly Publishing Net Revenue (in millions)

Aug 2019 Aug 2018 Percent Change
Higher Ed Course Materials $610.0 $809.6 -24.7%
K-12 Instructional Materials $605.9 $540.3 12.1%
Professional Books $67.2 $77.9 -13.7%
University Presses $4.8 $5.7 -15.6%
Total $1,287.9 $1,433.6 -10.2%

AAP’s StatShot

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.

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 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.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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