May 27, 2021
AAP MARCH 2021 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 40.2% FOR THIRD MONTH OF 2021, AND 22.3% YEAR TO DATE
Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Up 34.2% in March and 24.9% Year to Date
May 27, 2021 — The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for March 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 March 2021 were up 40.2% as compared to March 2020, coming in at $896.1 million. Year to date revenues were up 22.3%, at $3.1 billion for the first three months of the year.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 34.2% in March, coming in at $743.9 million, and up 24.9% year to date, with $2.1 billion in revenue.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of March, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 50.9%, coming in at $293.7 million; Paperbacks were up 27.7%, with $239.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 34.6% to $20.6 million; and Board Books were up 46.5%, with $15.3 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were up 21.0% for the month as compared to March of 2020 for a total of $88.0 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 16.7% for March, coming in at $58.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 16.1% coming in at $1.6 million.
Year to date, Hardback revenues were up 34.0%, coming in at $765.3 million; Paperbacks were up 19.3%, with $651.2 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 36.6% to $61.8 million; and Board Books were up 9.8%, with $44.9 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were up 20.7% as compared to the first three months of 2020 for a total of $278.2 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 21.0%, coming in at $189.4 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 5.3% coming in at $4.8 million.
Religious press revenues were up 29.9% in March, coming in at $58.4 million.
On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 12.8%, at 187.1 million.
During March of 2021 Education revenues were $111.7 million, up 115.5% compared with March of 2020. Year to date education revenues were $865.9 million, up 18.7% as compared to the first three months of 2020.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 179.2% for the month, as compared to March of 2020, coming in at $50.4 million. Year to date Higher Education was up 17.8%, at $741.5 million.
PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were up 81.5% for March 2021, at $61.4 million. Year to date PreK-12 revenues were up 24.0%, coming in at $124.4 million. More in-depth information on PreK-12 Books and Materials Monthly is included in AAP’s PreK-12 monthly report.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were up 33.2% during the month, coming in at $33.1 million. Year to date Professional Books were $95.9 million, up 12.7% as compared to the first three 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.