May 11, 2023
AAP February 2023 StatShot Report: Overall Publishing Industry Up 1.8% Year-To-Date, and 0.2% for Month of February Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Down 0.4% for Month of February, and Up 1.2% Year-to-Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for February 2023 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing.
Total revenues across all categories for February 2023 were up 0.2% as compared to February 2022, coming in at $1.0 billion. Year-to-date revenues were up 1.8%, at $2.3 billion for the first two months of the year.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were down 0.4% in February, coming in at $706.3 million.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of February, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 6.4%, coming in at $235.5 million; Paperbacks were down 0.9%, with $244.7 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 3.2% to $15.5 million; and Special Bindings were down 5.5%, with $16.2 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were down 4.8% for the month as compared to February 2022 for a total of $87.5 million, and overall Digital Audio format was up 31.6% for February, coming in at $84.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 37.0% coming in at $700 thousand.
Year-to-date Trade revenues were up 1.2%, at $1.5 billion for the first two months of the year. Hardback revenues were down 3.2%, coming in at $499.9 million; Paperbacks were up 3.7%, with $522.4 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 20.9% to $27.9 million; and Special Bindings were down 8.2%, with $32.6 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were down 0.8% as compared to the first two months of 2022 for a total of $172.6 million. The Digital Audio format was up 20.6%, coming in at $145.3 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 24.2% coming in at $1.8 million.
Within Trade Category, Digital Audio Surpasses eBooks In Books For Adults Sub-Category For First Time
Within Trade, the Books for Adults sub-category saw Digital Audio revenues climb 33.5% for the month of February, reaching $73.3 million, surpassing revenues for eBooks for the first time in history. eBook revenues for the month were down 7.6% coming in at $71.6 million.
For the year, Digital Audio revenues in Books for Adults were up 21.4%, reaching $126.4 million. eBook revenues were down 1.0%, coming in at $144.6 million for the first two months of 2023.
Overall, Adult book revenues were down 2.1% in February, coming in at $428.3 million, and up 2.0%, reaching $911.9 million on a year-to-date basis.
Religious press revenues were up 11.0% in February, coming in at $75.6 million. Hardback revenues were up 12.4% to $47.1 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 13.9% to $13.0 million, eBook revenues were down 4.1% coming in at $5.7 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 8.8% at $4.8 million.
On a year-to-date basis, religious press revenues were up 3.3%, reaching $146.9 million. Hardback revenues were up 4.5% at $88.3 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 3.0% to $29.6 million, eBook revenues were down 3.2% at $9.9 million, and Digital Audio revenues were up 9.0% at $7.7 million.
During February 2023 revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were $242.9 million, up 4.7% compared with February 2022. Year-to-date Higher Education Course Materials revenues were $706.2 million, up 4.3% compared to the first two months of 2022.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 7.9% during the month, coming in at $43.2 million. Year-to-date Professional Books revenues were $87.0 million, down 3.5% as compared to the first two months of 2022.
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 1,240 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 previously reported.