June 28, 2021
AAP APRIL 2021 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 43.7% FOR APRIL 2021, AND 27.0% YEAR TO DATE
Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Up 35.2% in April and 27.6% Year to Date
June 28, 2021 — The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for April 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing.
Total revenues across all categories for April 2021 were up 43.7% as compared to April 2020, coming in at $994.1 million. Year to date revenues were up 27.0%, at $4.1 billion for the first four months of the year.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 35.2% in April, coming in at $738.9 million, and up 27.6% year to date, with $2.8 billion in revenue.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of April, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 49.4%, coming in at $278.6 million; Paperbacks were up 44.0%, with $250.0 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 11.9% to $18.1 million; and Board Books were up 24.0%, with $12.2 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were down 1.2% for the month as compared to April of 2020 for a total of $90.8 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 17.5% for April, coming in at $63.1 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 32.2% coming in at $2.1 million.
Year to date, Hardback revenues were up 38.0%, coming in at $1.0 billion; Paperbacks were up 25.4%, with $901.7 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 30.1% to $79.9 million; and Board Books were up 12.5%, with $57.1 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were up 14.5% as compared to the first four months of 2020 for a total of $368.9 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 20.1%, coming in at $252.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 3.8% coming in at $6.9 million.
Religious press revenues were up 57.0% in April, coming in at $50.0 million.
On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 19.9%, at $237.1 million.
During April of 2021 Education revenues were $214.1 million, up 81.5% compared with April of 2020. Year to date education revenues were $1.1 billion, up 27.4% as compared to the first four months of 2020.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 96.6% for the month, as compared to April of 2020, coming in at $106.3 million. Year to date Higher Education was up 24.1%, at $847.8 million.
PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were up 68.7% for April 2021, at $107.8 million. Year to date PreK-12 revenues were up 41.4%, coming in at $232.2 million. More in-depth information on PreK-12 Books and Materials Monthly is included in AAP’s PreK-12 monthly report.
The performance of the Education categories during this month may reflect multiple factors, including rebounding business post-COVID, and reduced returns in Higher Ed as more students use digital/online materials (which are rarely returned). In addition, the percentage increase between April 2020 and April 2021 reflects the fact that school districts delayed purchases until later in the year during the pandemic.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 39.2% during the month, coming in at $32.0 million. Year to date Professional Books were $127.9 million, up 18.4% as compared to the first four months of 2020.
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AAP Statshot reports the monthly and yearly net revenue of publishing houses from U.S. sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, and other channels. Statshot draws revenue data from approximately 1,360 publishers, although participation may fluctuate slightly from report to report.
StatShot reports are designed to give ongoing revenue snapshots across publishing sectors 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 both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.
Monthly and yearly StatShot reports may not align completely across reporting periods, because: a) The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report; and b) Like any business, it is common accounting practice for publishing houses to update and restate their previously reported revenue data. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports first indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports to AAP, permitting AAP in turn to report information that is more accurate than before.