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Simon & Schuster Reports Digital Revenues Up, eBook Sales Down in Third Quarter

15657154472_c9f39b4bd7_hSimon & Schuster was less than specific as to how much the return to agency price controls affected their third quarter digital revenues, but they did admit that ebook sales were down.

On Thursday CBS Corp released its 3rd-quarter financial report. The relevant revenue data concerning Simon & Schuster was sparse:

Publishing revenues increased 11% to $226 million for the third quarter of 2016 from $203 million for the same prior-year period. The increase was led by growth in both print and digital book sales, including the bestselling titles Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Digital revenues represented 23% of Publishing’s total revenues for the third quarter of 2016.

A quick check of last year’s coverage and the relevant financial report reveals that S&S digital revenue increased just over a million dollars, from $50.75 million to $51.98 million.

So their digital revenues were up. But as PW reported, their ebook revenues were still down by some unknown number.

PW quoted S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy as saying:

Overall, Reidy said sales in the adult group were up by double digits. Sales of downloadable audio also had big gains. However, sales in the children’s division were flat. The increases in digital audio offset more declines in e-book sales, resulting in a 5% increase in digital revenue in the quarter.

So their ebook sales are still going down.

Gee, I wonder why.

Could it be that instituting retail price maintenance in the digital market, where retailers have to price according to a publisher’s orders, is not the best way to compete in an otherwise free market?

image by hannibal1107

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