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Digital Revenues Fall at HarperCollins

304526237_6d1acf58bb_bHarperCollins reported revenues rising 1%, to $409 million, in the quarter ending 30 September. EBITDA dropped 24%, to $42 million, from $55 million in the same period last year.

The earnings report was boosted by last year’s Harlequin acquisition, and the $25 million in revenue the romance publisher added to the bottom line. Absent harlequin, HC revenues dropped by $7 million, and EBITDA to $40 million.

The HC press release blamed the poor revenue report on " lower revenues from the Divergent series, lower ebook sales and negative foreign currency fluctuation". (Funny, Divergent was credited for the good quarter last year.)

One bright spot, however, was the sale of the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins reported that revenues were boosted by sales of Go Set a Watchman.

Digital revenues (both ebook and audiobook) accounted for 22% of HarperCollins bottom line, down from 23% last year. ebooks made up 20% of this year’s revenues, down from 22% in the same period last year.

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fjtorres November 6, 2015 um 9:28 am

Imagine what their numbers would look without WATCHMAN…

Liz November 6, 2015 um 1:44 pm

I just find it interesting the mental disconnect they have between their falling digital revenues and their pricing model. Its like they can’t bring themselves to admit their pricing model is flawed.

Daniel Vian November 6, 2015 um 3:53 pm

H-C Executive #1: "I wish we could get rid of ebooks."

H-C Executive #2: "Just set the price high and no one will buy them."

H-C Executive #1: "Won’t people complain?"

H-C Executive #2: "They won’t complain. They’ll just buy our harcovers."

H-C Executive #1: "Brilliant! I always knew you were brilliant!"

Dude November 6, 2015 um 9:05 pm

I don’t really get your comment about Divergent. A book like that obviously boosts sales, and then, since all these reports are YoY, the next year the reports are opposite.

Ebooks aren’t down a huge amount it seems.

Nate Hoffelder November 6, 2015 um 9:12 pm

Revenues are effectively the same as last year, and yet Divergent is credited with the increase last year and the decline this year.

That just seemed contradictory to me.

Dude November 6, 2015 um 9:16 pm

And I want to repeat the claim that the problem isn’t agency, it’s high pricing.

Syn November 6, 2015 um 9:26 pm

So the people that buy ebooks aren’t buying as many because of prices, and the people that have always bought print, are still buying print.

Nate Hoffelder November 7, 2015 um 7:30 am

Pretty much.

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