Simon & Schuster reported today that revenues had increased for the quarter ending 30 September. Total revenues were $203 million (up from $199 million last year), while operating income increased to $43 million.
Revenues for the first 9 months of 2015 were down 3%, to $547 million, while earnings were up 5%, to, $80 million.
PW has the specifics on the digital revenues:
In the quarter, e-book sales represented 20.4% of total revenue down from 25.1% in last year’s third quarter, while all digital sales accounted for 24.8% in the most recent quarter compared to 28.3%. Reidy said she is not concerned yet about the drop in e-book sales, noting that part of the decline is due to product mix as well as fwere people buying e-reader devices for the first time. She said S&S analysis doesn’t indicated that higher e-book prices are behind the e-book decline.
Reidy attributed the decline in ebook sales to fewer people buying e-reader devices for the first time, rather than the agency ebook contract that S&S negotiated with Amazon last year. She told PW that S&S analysis doesn’t show that the higher ebook prices are behind the decline in digital revenue.
And she could be correct (well, kinda). Kris Rusch has noted that Amazon is steeply discounting books by the Big Five, possibly as part of a price war with publishers. She found that a lot of books now cost less in paper than digital, so it is possible that readers are shifting their buying habits.
image by ActuaLitté