Tag Archives: PWC

Globally, ebook markets to continue steady growth during the next few years


In North America, where Amazon kicked off the modern ebook business in 2007, some book industry experts today are lamenting the recent decline of ebook revenues. Ebook markets outside the US, however, have a different situation and possibly also outlook for the future. PWC, a consultancy, forecasts that globally ebook sales continue to grow steadily, whereas print book revenues continue their gradual fall. PWC’s forecast is projected until 2020.

pwc, book publishing forecast 2020Annual growth rate for ebooks 10.4% and for print books -0.4% until 2020 according to PWC.
In regions like Europe, Asia and the Pacific, the adoption of ebooks have been a lot slower than in the US. For instance, in many European countries the market share of ebooks from the total book market is at 1 – 5% level. There is room for growth. Plenty of it. Sales channels are still being established (for instance, grocery store Aldi in Germany and subscription service Storytel in Scandinavia), tax laws are being amended (in order to treat ebooks equally with print books), self-publishing services are being set up, and people are realizing that large screen smartphones are reading devices.

Do you remember when the Internet bubble burst in 2001? It had been a wild run since the IPO of Netscape in 1995. For some pundits, 2001 was the end of the Internet business and tech business. Well, what happened? Today, they are shaping our world in all fields of life: transportation, entertainment, shopping, working, relationships, you name it.

The fact is that the world is taking its first baby steps in the new era of digital media that today also features electronic books. Today’s ebooks are more or less direct conversions of print books into electronic format – sometimes not even conversions if an ebook is delivered as an PDF file. Multimedia and augmented reality are some of the technologies that may get smartphone-generations to read commercial ebooks just like they read fan fiction, messages or watch online videos. Books will develop with technology, but the concept of book is so strong that it will remain.

So, yes, PWC’s cautious forecast for global annual ebook revenue growth of 10.4% is way more likely to happen than the decline of revenues in the US would turn into a long term trend.

pwc book publishing market forecast

Global Book Sales to Increase during the Next Few Years


Worldwide sales of books is growing until 2019, at least. That’s the number one conclusion from the report Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019 by PWC that quantifies the whole global book industry. Number two conclusion is that the engine of growth is ebooks because the sales of print books is declining. The third point is that tablets are an important driver for ebook adoption.

PWC is a global consultancy whose report may be purchased directly from the company web site. We have extracted some highlights from the report.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, all books revenue

The whole global book industry (consumer books, educational, professional and science books) is expected to reach USD 128 billion in sales by 2019. In 2014, sales was USD 120 billion. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 1.3 % in 2015-2019. For a business that’s hundreds of years old, and going through its biggest disruption since the invention of printing press, growth rate like 1.3 % is simply remarkable.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, consumer books revenue

The report anticipates that the sales of consumer books will grow 0.8% (CAGR) by 2019. Towards the end of the period, ebook sales is expected to ramp up. The reason why consumer book sales is growing slower than the whole market is that educational books are growing faster than the market.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, educational books revenue

The sales of educational books are expected to grow 2.0% (CAGR) globally, and professional books 1.6%. Strong growth for educational books is driven by two factors: ebooks are being widely adopted, and print books continue to sell well.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, tablets drive ebook adoption

PWC consultants have made an interesting conclusion on the reasons that are driving ebook sales. Their conclusion is that ebooks will be adopted in those countries where tablet penetration rate is 50% or higher. The popularity of ebooks in the US, UK, Canada, Singapore and South Korea prove the point, because tablet penetration is high in these countries. PWC expects that ebook market share will reach 40% by 2019, accelerating book industry growth in these countries.