AAP StatShot: In 2023, US Revenues Were $12.6 Billion

In News by Porter Anderson

Digital audio, in 2023, was up 14.9 percent in the United States, at US$864 million, per the Association of American Publishers’ Statshot report.

In Eleven Mile Canyon, Colorado, December 4, 2023. Image – Getty iStockphoto: SW Krullmaging

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

US Trade Revenues Down 0.3 Percent in 2023
In its release today (March 26) of its December 2023 StatShot report, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) the year-to-date figures cover last year, with total revenues across all categories in December 2023 down 2.5 percent as compared to December 2022, at US$970.7 million.

Year-to-date revenues, the AAP reports, for the overall industry were up 0.4 percent at US$12.6 billion.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the AAP’s numbers reflect reported revenue for tracked categories including trade (consumer books); higher education course materials; and professional publishing.

Trade Revenues

Calendar Year 2023

Trade revenues were down 0.3 percent at $8.9 billion for the calendar year.

Image: Association of American Publishers

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were up 0.4 percent, coming in at $3.3 billion
  • Paperbacks were down 2.0 percent, with $3.1 billion in revenue
  • Mass market was down 22.9 percent to $140.0 million
  • Special bindings were up 2.2 percent, with $210.0 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were up 0.6 percent for the year as compared to the year 2022 for a total of $1.0 billion
  • The closely watched digital audio format was 14.9 percent for 2023, coming in at $864.0 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 16.2 percent, coming in at $12.9 million

December 2023
In December, the industry’s trade revenues were down  1.2 percent, at $719.0 million.

In print formats:

  • Hardback revenues were down 8.6 percent, coming in at $245.3 million
  • Paperbacks were down 7.2 percent, with $244.0 million in revenue
  • Mass market was up 5.4 percent to $11.0 million
  • Special bindings were down 14.2 percent, with $18.1 million in revenue

In digital formats:

  • Ebook revenues were up 16.3 percent as compared to December 2022, for a total $90.3 million
  • The digital audio format was up 24.5 percent for December, at $81.9 million in revenue
  • Physical audio was down 7.8 percent, coming in at $1.1 million
Religious Press Performance

Calendar Year 2023

Religious press revenues were up 7.8 percent $819.7 million.

  • Hardback revenues were up 6.7 percent at $493.2 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were 11.1 percent to $162.8 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 3.3 percent, coming in at $53.8 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 8.5 percent at $45.6 million

December 2023

Religious press revenues were up 0.3 percent in December, reaching $60.9 million.

  • Hardback revenues were down 1.6 percent at $36.0 million in revenue
  • Paperback revenues were up 3.9 percent to $12.2 million
  • Ebook revenues were down 4.7  percent at $3.7 million
  • Digital audio revenues were up 21.7 percent at $3.8 million
Education

Calendar Year 2023

For calendar year 2023, revenues from higher education course materials were up 3.2 percent compared to 2022

December 2023

During December 2023, higher education course materials were $149.6 million, down 5.2 percent compared to December 2022 figures.

Professional Books

Calendar Year 2023

Professional books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, were down 3.9 percent as compared to 2022, at $457.8 million.

December 2023

In December, professional books were down 1.7 percent by comparison to December 2022, at $37.4 million.

Methodology

We’ll quote here notes on the methodology for this report. We’ve edited only slightly, to minimize promotional language and to do away with a few institutional capitalizations.

“AAP StatShot reports the monthly and yearly net revenue of publishing houses from US sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, and other channels. StatShot draws revenue data from approximately 1,240 publishers, although participation may fluctuate slightly from report to report.

“StatShot reports are designed to give ongoing revenue snapshots across publishing sectors using the best data currently available. The reports reflect participants’ most recent reported revenue for current and previous periods, enabling readers to compare revenue on both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.

“Monthly and yearly StatShot reports may not align completely across reporting periods, because:

  • “The pool of StatShot participants may fluctuate from report to report
  • “As in any business, it’s common accounting practice for publishing houses to update and restate their previously reported revenue data

“If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports first indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports to AAP, permitting AAP in turn to report information that is more accurate than previously reported.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on industry statistics is here. More on the Association of American Publishers is here, more of our coverage of AAP StatShot reports is here, and more on the US market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.