Global annual revenues from digital consumer publishing will reach USD 74 billion for 2019 from 41 billion this year, with a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 13 percent, according to the latest study by Ovum. The figure includes revenues from e-books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. By contrast, annual publishing print revenues will fall to almost USD 30 billion.
The rise in digital revenues stems from consumers moving away from print newspapers, magazines, and books toward reading a combination of content they have paid for and free or low-cost content from independent content producers like bloggers and self-published authors.
Print revenues will still remain the bulk of the consumer publishing industry over the next five years, with almost 75 percent of revenues coming from print in 2020, down from 86 percent this year. Ovum noted that while print revenues are falling, competition remains fierce. Publishers also face the dilemma of growing digital revenues without weakening print products.
In the digital space, some publishers are experimenting with alternative business “niche” models including the use of “all-you-can-read” subscription models, or microtransactions to sell by the chapter or article. Netherlands-based Blendle is showing the potential of the microtransaction model, however, it is doing so in a non-English language market where the competition from free content is not so fierce. Partnerships with social media could extend the reach of publishers, the study concluded.