September 10, 2020
AAP JULY 2020 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY DECLINES 9.4% FOR MONTH; 5.8% YEAR TO DATE
Trade/Consumer Books Jump 17.9% for July
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for July 2020 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 revenues across all categories for July 2020 were $1.8 billion, a decline of 9.4% as compared to July 2019. Year-to-date sales were $7.5 billion, a decline of 5.8% as compared to the same period last year.
Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues
Trade (consumer books) sales were notably up 17.9% year-over-year, coming in at $689.1 million. Year-to-date (January-July 2020) Trade sales were $4.3 billion, an increase of 5.0%, as compared to the first seven months of 2019.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of July, in the Trade (consumer books) category, Hardback revenues jumped 47.0%, coming in at $246.0 million; Paperbacks were down 0.2%, with $211.2 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 1.1% to $23.5 million; and Board Books were up 20.4%, with $16.5 million in revenue.
On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $1.4 billion, up 5.1%; Paperbacks were $1.4 billion, up 1.4%; Mass Market was $132.4 million, a decline of 2.4%; and Board Books were $86.8 million, up 13.8% as compared to the first seven months of 2019.
eBook and Downloaded Audio revenues continued to be strong in July, as well as on a year-to-date basis:
eBook revenues were up 25.0% for the month as compared to July 2019 for a total of $103.7 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 14.2%, coming in at $652.9 million for the first seven months of 2020. Notably, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category saw a 76.4% jump during the month, coming in at $11.6 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category were up 63.3% for the first seven months of the year, coming in at $73.2 million.
Downloaded Audio revenues saw a 24.9% increase as compared to July of last year, reaching $58.1 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 15.6% as compared to the same period in 2019, with a total of $374.7 million for the year so far.
The Downloaded Audio format continues the long-standing trend of seeing continuous growth every month since 2012.
Religious press revenues were up 4.0% year-over-year in July, coming in at $42.5 million, but roughly flat on a year-to-date basis with a decline of 0.2%, and revenues of $358.5 million for the first seven months of the year.
Year-to-date Education revenues were down 18.7%, coming in at $2.84 billion.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were down 21.9% for the month, as compared to July of 2019, coming in at $425.7 million. PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 24.9% for July 2020, at $549.3 million. Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were down 5.2% to $1.38 billion on a year-to-date basis. PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were $1.46 billion on a year-to-date basis, a drop of 28.3% compared to the first seven months of last year.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, increased 20.3% during the month, coming in at $80.2 million. The category was down 0.7% for the first seven months of the year, with $337.2 million in revenue.
University Presses were up 18.5% as compared to July of 2019, bringing in $5.0 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, University Presses declined 9.0%, bringing in $26.7 million for the first seven months of 2020.
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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.