March 10, 2020
AAP DECEMBER 2019 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 1.8% FOR CY2019
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for December 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.
Total sales across all categories for January to December 2019 rose 1.8% as compared to the same period last year, reaching $14.8 billion.
For the month of December overall publisher revenue was up 11.3% as compared to December of 2018, coming in at $1.2 billion.
Trade (Consumer) Revenues:
Year-to-date total Trade sales were flat (+0.1%) in relation to 2018, coming in at $7.9 billion. Downloaded Audio continued to grow, with a 22.1% increase as compared to last year, reaching $576.9 million in revenue. eBooks continued to decline, down 4.2% as compared to 2018 for a total of $983.3 million. Taken collectively, physical books – Hardback, Board Book, Paperback and Mass Market – accounted for $5.8 billion, or 74.0% of total 2019 Trade revenues.
For the month of December 2019 Trade revenues were up 9.0% as compared to December 2018, with a total of $728.9 million for the month. Downloaded Audio revenues increased 8.5%, reaching $50.7 million for the month. eBook sales declined 7.6% as compared to the same month last year, coming in at $75.5 million. For the month of December, physical books – Hardback, Board Book, Paperback and Mass Market– were up 11.4%, accounting for $552.8 million.
Total educational book sales were up 3.7% for the full year, reaching $6.8 billion. Within the category, Higher Education had a difficult year ending 2019 with $3.0 billion in sales, down 10.7% from 2018. In contrast PreK-12 grew 24.0% to $3.2 billion due to significant adoptions.
Professional books fell slightly, -1.8%, to $613.2 million. University Presses were down 4.0% to $48.3 million.
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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.