October 30, 2020
AAP SEPTEMBER 2020 STATSHOT REPORT: PUBLISHING INDUSTRY UP 14.6% FOR MONTH; DOWN 1.8% YEAR TO DATE
Trade (Consumer Book) Sales Up 20.9% in September; 7.8% Year To Date
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for September 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 September 2020 were up 14.6% as compared to September 2019, coming in at $1.8 billion. Year-to-date sales were down 1.8% as compared to the first nine months of 2019, with a total of $11.2 billion.
Trade (Consumer Books) Revenues
Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 20.9% year-over-year, coming in at $939.9 million. Year-to-date (January-September 2020) Trade sales were up 7.8% as compared to the same period last year, coming in at $5.9 billion.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of September, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 24.8%, coming in at $419.8 million; Paperbacks were up 21.6%, with $272.4 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 88.1% to $20.8 million; and Board Books were up 35.2%, with $23.5 million in revenue.
On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $2.1 billion, up 9.3%; Paperbacks were $1.9 billion, up 3.9%; Mass Market was $167.9 million, a decline of 0.6%; and Board Books were $127.9 million, up 18.2% as compared to the first nine months of 2019.
eBook and Downloaded Audio revenues continued to grow in September, as well as on a year-to-date basis:
eBook revenues were up 22.1% for the month as compared to September of 2019 for a total of $101.5 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 15.8%, coming in at $855.8 million for the first nine months of 2020. Notably, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category saw a 110.8% jump during the month, coming in at $15.9 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBook revenues in the Children’s and YA category were up 69.7% for the first nine months of the year, coming in at $96.8 million.
The Downloaded Audio format continues the long-standing trend of seeing continuous growth every month since 2012. Downloaded Audio revenues saw a 15.0% increase as compared to September of last year, reaching nearly $60 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 17.6% as compared to the same period in 2019, with a total of $496.7 million for the year so far.
Religious press revenues were up 5.1% in September, coming in at $62.5 million. The category was basically flat on a year-to-date basis with an increase of 0.5%, and revenues of $477.5 million for the first nine months of the year.
During September 2020 Education revenues were $827.2 million, up 8.5% compared with September of 2019. Year-to-date Education revenues were down 10.6% as compared to the first nine months of 2019, coming in at $5.3 billion.
Revenues from Higher Education Course Materials were up 3.1% for the month, as compared to September of 2019, coming in at $460.6 million. On a year-to-date basis, Higher Education revenues were down 0.5% to $2.5 billion.
PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were up 14.9% for September 2020, at $307.0 million. PreK-12 Instructional Materials revenues were down 21.4% at $2.3 billion on a year-to-date basis.
Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, increased 23.2% during the month, coming in at $54.1 million. The category was up 1.4% for the first nine months of the year, with $457.9 million in revenue.
University Presses were up 20.4% as compared to September of 2019, bringing in $5.4 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, University Presses rose 1.7%, bringing in $37.2 million for the first nine 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.