July 31, 2020
AAP StatShot Annual Report: Book Publishing Revenues Up Slightly to $25.93 Billion in 2019
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released the StatShot Annual report for Calendar Year 2019, estimating that the U.S. book publishing industry generated $25.93 billion in annual revenue, up by 1.1% as compared to 2018. In terms of units the report estimates that 2.76 billion units were sold. All figures represent publishers’ net revenue from tracked categories (trade, higher education course materials, PreK-12 instructional materials, professional books, and university press), in all formats, from all distribution channels.
2019 StatShot Annual Report Highlights:
Overall publishing industry revenue was essentially flat, coming in at $25.93 billion for the year, which was a 1.1% increase as compared to $25.63 billion in 2018.
For the third consecutive year, publisher sales to online retail channels exceeded sales to physical retail channels, with the margin continuing to grow wider:
- Online Retail: sales to online retail were $8.22 billion. Over the last five years, publisher sales to online retail channels have grown by nearly 20%.
- Physical Retail: sales to physical retailwere $5.86 billion. Over the past five years publisher sales to physical retailers have decreased by 35.9%.
In terms of format, print continued to dominate the industry:
- Overall: nearly half (47.6%) of all revenue from four print formats: hardback, board book, paperback, and mass market.
- For trade (consumer books): print formats represented 74.7% of revenue, and while within that percentage hardback units represented just 24.2% of the total trade units sold in 2019, they generated 36.0% of total trade revenue.
eBooks declined while downloaded audio continued to grow:
- eBooks: Industry revenue from eBooks declined 4.9% in 2019to $1.94 billion and is down 30.8% for the five-year period of 2015-2019. eBook units slightly decreased by 2.6% to 335.7 million since 2018.
- Downloaded audio: Downloaded audio remains the fastest growing digital revenue segment in the industry, generating $1.31 billion in revenue in 2019, a 15.9% increase over 2018. In the five-year period from 2015-2019, downloaded audio grew a total of 143.8%.
The StatShot Annual Report is based on data prepared by Management Practice Inc. (MPI), AAP’s statistics partner, and offers a valuable, financial overview of the book publishing industry that is more than the sum of AAP’s monthly statistics analyses.
StatShot Annual employs a unique methodology that combines annual data submitted by publishers and distributors, along with market modeling, to estimate the total volume of the U.S. publishing industry. Additionally, StatShot Annual reports estimated revenue and unit sales in the following market segments: trade (consumer books), higher education, PreK-12, professional, and university presses. AAP (or its predecessor) has provided this service in a variety of forms since 1947. Participants are listed at the end of this Report. MPI states the results of the survey are accurate at a 95% confidence level, plus or minus 5 percentage points. Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.
AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at www.publishers.org or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.