July 21, 2021
AAP MAY 2021 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 11.1% FOR MAY 2021, AND 23.4% YEAR TO DATE
Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues Up 7.9% in May and 23% Year to Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for May 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 May 2021 were up 11.1% as compared to May 2020, coming in at $1.1 billion. Year to date revenues were up 23.4%, at $5.1 billion for the first five months of the year.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 7.9% in May, coming in at $685.2 million, and up 23.2% year to date, with $3.5 billion in revenue.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of May, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 18.7%, coming in at $252.8 million; Paperbacks were up 14.5%, with $229.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 15.1% to $19.2 million; and Board Books were down 4.8%, with $9.0 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were down 23.4% for the month as compared to May of 2020 for a total of $86.3 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 11.9% for May, coming in at $61.3 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 48.5% coming in at $2.1 million.
Year to date, Hardback revenues were up 33.8%, coming in at $1.3 billion; Paperbacks were up 23.0%, with $1.1 billion in revenue; Mass Market was up 18.0% to $99.1 million; and Board Books were up 9.6%, with $66.0 million in revenue.
eBook revenues were up 4.7% as compared to the first five months of 2020 for a total of $455.2 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 18.4%, coming in at $313.8 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 11.7% coming in at $9.0 million.
Religious press revenues were down 5.3% in May, coming in at $52.5 million.
On a year-to date basis, religious press revenues were up 14.4%, at $289.6 million.
During May of 2021 Education revenues were $342.7 million, up 21.5% compared with May of 2020. Year to date education revenues were $1.4 billion, up 26.0% as compared to the first five months of 2020.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were down 8.3% for the month, as compared to May of 2020, coming in at $132.1 million. Year to date Higher Education was up 18.5%, at $980.2 million.
PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were up 52.6% for May 2021, at $210.6 million. Year to date PreK-12 revenues were up 46.5%, coming in at $442.9 million. More in-depth information on PreK-12 Books and Materials Monthly is included in AAP’s PreK-12 monthly report.
The performance of the Education categories during this month may reflect multiple factors, including rebounding business post-COVID. In addition, the percentage increase between May 2020 and May 2021 reflects the fact that school districts delayed purchases until later in the year during the pandemic.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 18.4% during the month, coming in at $28.6 million. Year to date Professional Books were $156.5 million, up 9.4% as compared to the first five 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.