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PwC: Now That They Exceed Print Sales, eBooks Sales Will Continue to Grow Slowly

24276498424_81ef007175_hAfter having fumbled ebook sales predictions for three years running by declaring that ebook sales would exceed print sales in 2016, er 2017, er 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers is now claiming that the book publishing industry revenues will remain relatively flat for the next several years as ebook sales grow slowly at the expense of print.

The PwC report is behind a paywall, but according to the public teaser:

Total book publishing revenue will see growth of 1.7% CAGR over the next five years. Within this overall increase, educational books will experience the fastest growth (1.9%), but slower-growing consumer books (1.5%) make up half of the market. Consumer book revenues are heavily influenced by best-sellers – last year’s revenues were driven by Grey and Go Set a Watchman.

E-books are driving growth in the books business, more than offsetting the declines in print. The growth of traditionally-published e-books has slowed, while independently and self-published e-books are seeing faster uptake due to their typically lower unit price. The professional books sector is the most heavily-digitised area of the book publishing market, with e-books and other digital products proving to be much more practical for professional users than the print alternatives. The growth of professional e-books (11.7%) more than makes up for the decline in print (-2.8%).

This is their current projection, as a chart:


Given PwC’s past misses with its ebook sales predictions, this report should be taken with Death Valley size amount of salt, preferably on the rim of margaritas or as a chaser to tequila.


image by amsfrank

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