Publishing Industry Forecast: Readers Will Continue to Prefer Print

Ovum predicts that in 2020, consumers will still prefer print, just like these readers who are browsing magazines in a public library.

In 2020, consumers will still prefer print, just like these readers who are browsing magazines in a public library.

Believe it or not, print books, newspapers, and magazines—not their digital versions— are expected to remain the choice of consumers worldwide in 2020, according to a recent industry forecast by Ovum, a global analyst firm.

While digital is where future growth lies, it’s not growing as fast as we assume. Digital revenue is forecasted to grow by 13 percent within the next five years, from $41 billion this year to $74 billion in 2020, according to Ovum’s Digital Consumer Publishing Forecast. Digital will account for only 24 percent of overall publishing revenues in five years.

Ovum predicted that revenue from print publishing, although declining, will still account for over a third of revenues in the publishing industry by 2020. For publishers, it means they can’t afford to neglect print, while also pursuing digital.

Publishing Forecast

The firm studied the revenues of book, magazine, and newspaper industries in more than 50 markets worldwide. Here are some of the highlights of Ovum’s forecast:

  • By 2020, digital will account for 42 percent of overall publishing revenues in the United States, while it will account for 37 percent of overall publishing revenues in the United Kingdom.
  • By 2020, e-books will account for more than half of consumer book revenue, but magazines and newspaper readers will still prefer print.
  • By 2020, digital’s share or revenues globally will rise to 35 percent for books, 31 percent for magazines, and 15 percent for newspapers.

You can read more about the report from MediaBriefing here.

You can read Ovum’s press release about its forecast here.

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6 Comments

  1. Great news! I love print books.

    Reply
  2. I read about the same amount of eBooks as printed books. I prefer eBooks though, I can just take my kindle with me and read whatever I have on there, whenever I have the time, otherwise I’d have to cart a suitcase full of books around with me wherever I went!

    Reply
    • I do read both print and e-books. Although I like physically holding a book, e-book offers certain advantages like you mentioned. I had to give up a lot of print books when I moved recently. I just couldn’t take all of them with me): Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  3. But this makes me sad: “By 2020, e-books will account for more than half of consumer book revenue.”

    Reply
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