May 31, 2023
AAP StatShot Annual Report: Publishing Revenues Totaled $28.10 Billion for 2022
Revenues Down 2.6% on Year-Over-Year Basis, But Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released the StatShot Annual report covering the calendar year 2022, estimating that the U.S. book publishing industry generated $28.10 billion industry-wide during the year, a decline of 2.6% as compared to 2021. In spite of the slight decline, total industry revenue remained 8.6% higher than the $25.87 billion total recorded for the year of 2019, just prior to the onset of the pandemic.
“During the year the publishing industry continued to show considerable resilience, with total revenues still above pre-pandemic levels,” commented Syreeta Swann, Chief Operating Officer, Association of American Publishers. “The fact that the five-year trend also shows consistent growth suggests that the industry is well positioned to weather a challenging economic environment and an evolving marketplace over the long haul.”
2022 StatShot Annual Report Highlights
Estimated Industry Revenue for 2022 was $28.10 Billion
- Industry-wide revenue declined by 2.6% during the year, going from $28.85 billion in 2021 to $28.10 billion in 2022.
- During 2022 the industry’s largest category, Trade (consumer books), decreased by 6.6% to $17.36 billion in terms of estimated revenue.
- Higher Education revenue decreased 7.2% to $3.18 billion.
- PreK–12 Education increased 16.6% to $5.61 billion.
- Professional books decreased by 6.0% to $1.47 billion.
- Religious Presses, a subcategory of Trade, decreased 6.0% to $1.27 billion.
- University Presses, the smallest category reported, declined by 7.7% to $414 million.
2022 Revenues Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels
- While the 2022 StatShot Annual report found a slight decline in overall revenue on a year-over-year basis, total industry revenue ($28.10 billion) was still well above pre-pandemic levels, with the 2022 figure coming in 8.6% higher than 2019 ($25.87 billion), and 8.7% higher than 2020 revenues ($25.86 billion).
Trends During 2022 for Retail Channels
- For the seventh consecutive year, publisher sales via Online Retail channels exceeded sales via Physical Retail channels.
- Revenue attributed to Physical Retail was $5.22 billion for the year, a drop of 5.8% on a year-over-year basis.
- 2022 revenue attributable to Online Retail, a channel that includes both physical and digital books, was $8.19 billion, a decline of 12.4% as compared to 2021.
- Channels that saw increased revenue during 2022 included:
- Direct Sales, which grew 12.3% to $7.23 billion.
- The Intermediary Channel, which was up 0.7% to $5.05 billion.
- The “Other” Channels, which increased 13.1% to $1.16 billion.
Trends During 2022 for Formats
- eBooks once again declined, falling 6.5% to $1.95 billion.
- With the exception of 2020, the first year of the pandemic, eBook revenue has declined every year since 2014.
- Digital Audio revenue increased, climbing 2.6% to $1.81 billion. Revenue attributable to this format has increased steadily since 2012.
- During the year, Paperback outpaced Hardback for the first time since 2014.
- Paperback decreased 0.5% to $6.38 billion during 2022.
- Hardback decreased 13.6% coming in at $6.18 billion.
Five-Year Trends in Publishing
- Overall, the publishing industry revenue grew 11.0% between 2018 and 2022.
- Revenue in the industry’s largest category, Trade (consumer books), grew 9.7% during the period.
- Religious Presses, a part of Trade, decreased 2.4%.
- Higher Education revenue decreased by 18.0%.
- PreK–12 Education revenue increased 67.4%.
- Professional books revenue decreased by 20.6%.
- University Presses, the smallest category reported, increased by 3.9%.
- Industry revenue by format for 2018 – 2022:
- Revenue from Hardbacks increased 4.1% during the five-year period.
- Revenue from Paperbacks increased 15.6% between 2018 and 2022.
- Mass Market revenue declined a total of 37.7%.
- eBook revenue decreased 2.5% during the five-year period.
- Revenue from Instructional Materials, which includes textbooks, workbooks, review books, standardized tests, digital textbooks, course materials as well as online tools such as homework managers increased 13.0%.
- Digital Audio revenue increased by 71.7%.
- The growth in Digital Audio revenue continues to overtake Physical Audio, which declined by 69.8% during the five-year period.
The full report is available for purchase on AAP’s website.
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 the 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.