May 27, 2022
AAP MARCH 2022 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 1.1% YEAR-TO-DATE BUT DOWN 4.2% FOR MARCH￼
Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues fall 6.4% in March, but up 2.0% Year-to-Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for March 2022 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. The report does not include Pre-K revenue due to delays in data collection, but will be updated as soon as that data becomes available.
Total revenues across all categories, excluding PreK-12, for March 2022 were down 4.2% as compared to March 2021, coming in at $804.4 million. Year-to-date revenues were up 1.1%, at $3.0 billion for the first three months of the year.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were down 6.4% in March, coming in at $702.5 million.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of March, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 19.0%, coming in at $238.1 million; Paperbacks were up 8.6%, with $266.0 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 30.7% to $14.3 million; and Special Bindings were down 17.6%, with $12.7 million in revenue. Paper formats still account for 75.6% of all trade sales.
eBook revenues were down 12.2% for the month as compared to March 2021 for a total of $76.9 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 8.4% for March, coming in at $63.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 20.1% coming in at $1.3 million.
Year-to-date Trade revenues were up 2.0%, at $2.1 billion for the first three months of the year. Hardback revenues were down 3.0%, coming in at $740.6 million; Paperbacks were up 14.6%, with $763.5 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 20.1% to $49.4 million; and Special Bindings were down 3.1%, with $43.6 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were down 9.8% as compared to the first three months of 2021 for a total of $249.3 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 2.7%, coming in at $194.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 23.4% coming in at $3.7 million.
Religious press revenues were down 11.0% in March, coming in at $52.1 million. Hardback revenues were down 15.9% to $32.0 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 7.3% to $7.9 million, eBook revenues were down 6.0% coming in at $3.9 million, and Downloaded Audio revenues were down 2.4% at $2.8 million.
On a year-to-date basis, religious press revenues were down 4.0%, reaching $174.3 million. Hardback revenues were down 8.0% at $106.0 million in revenue, Paperback revenues were up 13.4% to $26.9 million, eBook revenues were down 9.4% at $11.8 million, and Downloaded Audio revenues were down 10.6% at $9.9 million.
During March 2022 revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were $68.6 million, up 38.3% compared with March 2021. Year-to-date Higher Education Course Materials revenues were $737.4 million, unchanged (0.0%) compared to the first three months of 2021.
The performance of the Education categories during this month may reflect multiple factors, including rebounding business post-COVID.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 22.8% during the month, coming in at $25.2 million. Year-to-date Professional Books revenues were $86.8 million, down 8.4% as compared to the first three months of 2021.
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 1,366 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.