December 14, 2020
AAP OCTOBER 2020 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 7.3% FOR MONTH; DOWN 1.0% YEAR TO DATE
Trade (Consumer Book) Sales Up 2.4% in October; 6.9% Year to Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for October 2020 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
Total revenues across all categories for October 2020 were up 7.3% as compared to October 2019, coming in at $1.2 billion. Year-to-date sales were down 1.0% as compared to the first ten months of 2019, with a total of $12.4 billion.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 2.4% year-over-year, coming in at $960.6 million. Year-to-date (January-October 2020) Trade sales were up 6.9% as compared to the same period last year, coming in at $6.9 billion.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of October, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 1.8%, coming in at $456.8 million; Paperbacks were down 0.7%, with $246.3 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 2.7% to $19.8 million; and Board Books were up 19.7%, with $27.0 million in revenue.
On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $2.6 billion, up 6.9%; Paperbacks were $2.1 billion, up 3.3%; Mass Market was $187.7 million, a decline of 0.9%; and Board Books were $154.8 million, up 18.3% as compared to the first ten months of 2019.
eBook and Downloaded Audio revenues continued to grow in October, as well as on a year-to-date basis:
eBook revenues were up 20.4% for the month as compared to October of 2019 for a total of $96.9 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 16.5%, coming in at $956.3 million for the first ten months of 2020.
The Downloaded Audio format continues the long-standing trend of seeing continuous growth every month since 2012. Downloaded Audio revenues saw a 14.3% increase as compared to October of last year, reaching $56.9 million in revenue. Physical Audio, however, was down 32.4% coming in at $3.0 million.
On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 17.3% as compared to the same period in 2019, with a total of $553.6 million for the year so far. Physical Audio was down 33.7%, with $19.8 million in revenue.
Religious press revenues were down 1.0% in October, coming in at $59.6 million. The category was basically flat on a year-to-date basis with an increase of 0.3%, and revenues of $537.2 million for the first ten months of the year.
During October 2020 Education revenues were $248.3 million, up 31.9% compared with October of 2019. Year-to-date Education revenues were down 9.3% as compared to the first ten months of 2019, coming in at $5.5 billion.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 280.2% for the month, as compared to October of 2019, coming in at $93.4 million. On a year-to-date basis, Higher Education revenues were up 2.3% to $2.6 billion.
PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 14.0% for October 2020, at $103.9 million. PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 21.1% at $2.4 billion on a year-to-date basis.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, increased 22.0% during the month, coming in at $47.0 million. The category was up 3.3% for the first ten months of the year, with $500.5 million in revenue.
University Presses were down 7.6% as compared to October of 2019, bringing in $4.0 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, University Presses rose 2.2%, bringing in $41.2 million for the first ten 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.