AAP Reports eBook Revenues Down 12.3% in First Ten Months of 2015
Total trade revenues were up 2.5% for the month and half a percent for the year so far. Both paperbacks and audiobooks were up significantly, but ebook revenues were down 12.3% for the ten month period.
This more or less matches what we seen in the past several monthly reports, and it helps explain why publishers are now blaming the return of agency on Amazon rather than their own business decisions.
Publishers’ book sales for trade (consumer) books from Jan. to Oct. were up 0.5% compared to the same timeframe in 2014. Overall publisher revenue for the 10-month period was $13.2 billion, down 2.8%. These numbers include sales for all tracked categories (Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). Publishers net revenue is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes sales data from more than 1,200 publishers (#AAPStats).
Trade book revenues were up 2.5% in Oct. 2015 compared to Oct. 2014.
In a year where Adult Books have shown growth and Childrens/YA hasn’t fared as well, Oct. was an unusual month; Adult Books were down 0.4% and Childrens /YA Books were up 8.1% compared to Oct. 2014. The year-to-date figures, through Oct. 2015 show growth of Adult Books by 2.6% and a decline in Childrens/YA of 5.3%
Religious Presses had 11.0% growth in Oct., compared to Oct. 2014; even with that bump, sales are flat year-to-date compared to 2014.
Downloaded audio and paperback remain the formats with the most growth. Downloaded audio increased 38.1% through Oct. 2015 vs the same timeframe in 2014. Paperback Books showed growth in all trade categories, and is up 12.4% year-to-date compared to 2014.
eBooks remain down at 12.3% compared to the same 10 months in 2014. The bulk of the decline comes from the Children/YA category, which is down 44.7%, whereas Adult eBooks are down 6.5% year- to-date.
Though Hardback Books were up for the month in both Childrens/YA (12.5%) and Adult Books(4.3%) categories, they remain down 3.6% year-to-date compared to 2014.
Revenues for PreK-12 instructional materials were down by 4.7% and Higher Education course materials were down 6.7% through Oct. compared to the same timeframe in 2014.
Professional and Scholarly Publishing:
Sales for Professional Publishing, which includes business, medical, law, scientific and technical books and journals, were down 2.1% for the year-to-date. University Presses were down 2.9% year-over-year compared to the same ten months in 2014.
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