Global ePublishing revenues to grow by 9% YoY to $27B in 2021

eBooks to hit $15.6billion in revenue this year

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ePublishing
Revenue in the ePublishing segment, from 2017 to 2020 (in billion US dollars)

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a massive hit to the offline bookselling and newspaper industries, with millions of customers turning to digital media and online content amid lockdown.

According to data presented by Finaria.it, the rising demand for online content is expected to continue this year, with the global ePublishing industry reaching $27billion in revenue in 2021, a 9% jump year-over-year.

eBooks to hit $15.6billion in revenue this year

The ePublishing market includes eBooks, digital editions of the consumer or business magazines called eMagazines, and ePapers as online versions of daily or weekly newspapers. This type of digital content provides several advantages to customers.

The content is easy to purchase, and can be downloaded directly on the reading device itself. Whole libraries can be stored online without the need for physical space, which means easier transportation of books. Moreover, ePublishing is also a cost-efficient option for publishers, allowing them to save on printing, logistics, and sales costs.

In 2017, the revenue of the global ePublishing industry amounted to $21.8billion. In the next two years, this figure rose by 13% to $24.7billion. Statistics show that revenues of the entire sector slightly increased to $24.8billion in 2020, despite the increasing demand for online content amid the Covid-19 lockdown. However, this figure is set to reach almost $32.3billion by 2025.

The global ePublishing market is dominated by eBooks, which are set to reach over one billion users and generate $15.6billion in revenue in 2021, a 6% jump year-over-year. eMagazines and ePapers play a considerably smaller role and are expected to hit $7.2billion and $4.2billion in revenue, respectively.

Amazon is the key player in the ePublishing business. With the launch of its eReader called Kindle and the associated Kindle Store in 2007, Amazon became an online distribution service for eBooks.

Following the streaming trend, Amazon also offers subscription-based access to its library, enabling an unlimited consumption of eBooks for a monthly fee. Today, the Kindle Store includes over six million eBooks and 60,000 audiobooks, making it one of the world’s biggest ePublishing services.

Statista survey showed that Amazon dominates in the US, German, and the UK market, with 83%, 66%, and 84% of respondents using its services to buy eBooks. On the other hand, the Chinese market is highly competitive, with iReader, Amazon and QQ Reader holding around 30% of the market share each.

The United States, Japan, and China to Generate Over 50% of ePublishing Revenues in 2021

The United States has a leading role in the global ePublishing market and is expected to generate $9.8billion in revenue in 2021, an 8% increase in a year. Statistics show that eBooks account for more than 60% of that value.

As the second-largest globally, the Japanese market is expected to hit $2.3billion value in 2021, 10% more than a year ago.

Revenue of the Chinese ePublishing market, as the third-largest globally, is set to rise by 11.1% YoY to $2.2billion in 2021. Although China is far behind in this comparison, statistics show the number of eBook users in the country is set to reach 378 million this year, almost four times more than in the United States and Japan combined.

With $1.7billion in revenue, the United Kingdom ranked as the largest ePublishing market in Europe and fourth-largest globally. Statistics show that eBooks also represent the largest segment of the UK’s market, expected to hit $965 million value this year. South Korea follows, with $956 million in revenue, respectively.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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