Books & Publishing

The books and publishing industry is undergoing serious change. Print newspapers and magazines have long endured decreased circulation figures and fewer subscriptions, whereas physical books have had an easier time navigating the digital age. Although printed books remain the most favorable option for consumers, audiobooks and e-books are now gathering ground and both are predicted to see a good CAGR in the next few years. It is audiobooks though which are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry, and estimates from analysts suggest that the global audiobook market could be worth more than ten billion U.S. dollars within the next five to ten years.

Newspaper circulation revenue worldwide
52.14bn USD
Digital publishing revenue in the United states
10bn USD
Book publishing revenue worldwide
122bn USD

Market size

Which is the world's biggest digital publishing market?
Digital publishing revenue in selected countries worldwide in 2021 (in million U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Print is still an important part of the publishing industry, but digital is the future. The United States accounts for the majority of digital publishing revenue worldwide, hugely outperforming other major markets in this regard. Digital publishing encompasses online newspapers, magazines, and books, and forecasts suggest that e-book revenue in the United States alone could approach eight billion dollars in the next few years.

Digital publishing in the U.S.
Digital publishing in China
Publishing industry in Germany

Market segments

Digital publishing: the future of the industry
Forecast of ePublishing revenue by segment in the World from 2017 to 2025 (in million U.S. dollar)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Print has given way to digital, and the future of the publishing industry is online. The biggest source of revenue will come from e-books followed by online newspapers and magazines, particularly as print newspaper circulation and physical book sales fall, despite the emergence of many small, independent print publications railing against the switch to digital formats, Audiobooks are also gaining traction, with revenue in the United States alone estimated at over one billion dollars per year.

E-books in the U.S.
Audiobooks in the U.S.
Book formats in the U.S.

Industry trends

Printed books are still surprisingly favorable
Estimated revenue of U.S. print publishing industries from 2005 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Print publishing revenue in the United States dropped by over 30 billion U.S. dollars in the last decade, but print books are still far more popular than e-books or audiobooks among American consumers. In the UK, physical book sales revenue is stagnant but stable, and despite digital growth, print revenue remains far higher. Printed books have fared better than newspapers and magazines in terms of consumption and revenue, and it will take time for digital books to become the go-to option.

Print media industry in the U.S.
Printed media in Europe
Paid content in U.S. print and digital media

Industry leaders

Who are the top publishers in the world?
Largest book publishers worldwide in 2020, by revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

The leading book publishing companies worldwide are RELX Group, Thomson Reuters, Pearson, Bertelsmann, and Wolters Kluwer, each generating several billion U.S. dollars in revenue every year. Acquisitions among publishing houses are common: Bertelsmann has full ownership of Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins and Bertelsmann have both demonstrated interest in purchasing Simon & Schuster. A key conglomerate to watch is Vivendi, which is anticipated to build on its position in the industry.

Total revenue at Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA,
McGraw-Hill Education revenue
Scholastic Corporation: revenue

Industry Definition

Statista offers a number of insights on the publishing industry, including revenue figures for industry leaders, information about consumer demographics and habits, and insights into both the print and digital segments in multiple markets across the globe. The platform covers physical books, e-books, audiobooks, and printed and digital newspapers and magazines, as well as statistics on purchasing behavior, genre preferences, and retail. Forecasts on digital publishing revenue and usage can also be found in the Statista database, and where data is available, figures are also given for printed media circulation and subscriptions.


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