AAP Releases 2020 StatShot Annual Report

NISO Member News

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released in October its annual Statshot Report, leading with the headline that industry growth had largely remained flat. Specifically, the association estimated that the U.S. book publishing industry generated roughly $25.71 billion in revenue in 2020, a slight decrease of 0.2% from 2019 revenue of $25.77 billion.

Looking at the year by sector, the report reveals that in 2020, the industry’s largest category, Trade (consumer books), increased by an estimated 6.0% to $16.67 billion, and by 8.6% in directly reported revenue. Revenue from Higher Education saw a decline of 5.7% to $3.10 billion; that decline in revenue however was less than that seen in the category of Professional books which saw a percentage decline of 14.5%. University Presses, the smallest category reported, grew slightly, by 2.9% to $391.7 million in 2020.

The report (available for ordering here) is summarized as having these highlights:

  • While the market was flat overall (−0.2%), Trade books had a strong year, up 6.0%, as many consumers turned to reading and listening to both fiction and non-fiction with renewed interest and commitment. 
  • Print books continued to dominate the market during the year, with Hardback, Paperback, and Special Bindings each seeing an increase. 
  • While eBook revenue had declined since 2014, during calendar year 2020 the category was up 11.7%, coming in at an estimated $2.12 billion. Downloaded Audio continued to grow, and was up 13.2% as compared to 2019, with an estimated revenue of $1.42 billion for the year. 
  • In Higher Education, an increase in distance learning helped to further accelerate widespread adoption of cost-effective eTextbooks in both sales and rentals––including models such as inclusive access––resulting in an estimated 5.7% decline to $3.10 billion as compared to 2019.

The full text of the announcement to the press may be found here