Companies in this industry publish newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, books, directories, and mailing lists, as well as items such as calendars, greeting cards, and maps. Major companies include Advance Publications, Hallmark, Hearst, and News Corp (all based in the US), as well as Axel Springer (Germany), Pearson and RELX Group (both based in the UK), Thomson Reuters (Canada), and Wolters Kluwer (Netherlands).
The books and publishing industry includes the newspaper and magazine, book publishing, and digital publishing segments. The global newspaper circulation revenue was about $50 billion in 2021, while the global book publishing revenue was about $120 billion, according to Statista. The newspaper and magazine segments are experiencing contraction as circulation falls, thanks in part to the increasing accessibility of free content online. The digital publishing industry in China is booming, driven by the increasing internet and mobile app economy.
The US publishing industry includes about 16,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $90 billion.
Book publishers, newspaper publishers, magazine publishers, and directory and mailing list publishers are included in this industry and further discussed in separate industry profiles. Internet publishing, which is not included in this industry, is covered in a separate profile.
Demand for books, magazines, and greeting cards is driven by consumer income, while demand for newspapers and directories is related to local population growth and local ad spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on marketing expertise, efficient operations, and new customers. Large companies benefit from the ability to share resources across multiple content outlets. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in niche topics and markets. The US publishing industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 60% of revenue.
The publishing market has become highly competitive due to the proliferation of digital content. New technology enables low barriers to entry, resulting in the emergence of smaller content providers that can reach large audiences over the internet, through apps, or via self-publishing services. To remain competitive, companies must invest in designing innovative new products, expanding existing products, and acquiring new players.
Publishers compete with local and national rivals for readership and advertising; they also compete with other media, such as local broadcast stations, national cable and broadcast networks, and online distributors, many of which offer content for free.
Products, Operations & Technology
In the US, books alone are the largest source of industry revenue (about 30%), followed by magazines and periodicals (about 30%). Newspapers (about 30%),
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms