Book Industry forecasts from PWC and Deloitte’s: the focus is on digital

Price Waterhouse Cooper has recently published the 15th edition of its Entertainment and Media Outlook, 2014 – 2018.  It projects a slight rise in total global book revenue from the consumer, educational and professional book market segments, from £34.89bn in 2013 to £37.04bn in 2018.  It predicts that increased digital sales will more than compensate for the loss of physical book sales.  The forecast is that digital sales will account for 41% of all book revenues in 2018.

PWC further predicts that total educational book’s electronic revenues will have increased by 13.5% in 2018 to £2.81bn, nearly double the revenues achieved in 2013.  Total educational print revenues are predicted to fall from £10.7bn to £9.6bn.

The report highlights that China will be the second largest book market after the USA, with revenues projected to reach $13.2bn in 2018.

Annual declines in print revenues are forecast to slow but not stop in 2018.

Deloitte’s has also published a report entitled Media Consumer 2017: the digital divide, which focuses on the UK only, with broadly similar predictions.  It says that sales of print editions will fall by more than a third to £912m in 2018, while ebook sales will grow from £380m in 2013 to £1bn in 2018.  We have, of course, seen predictions of this nature before, though this one doesn’t seem to be as extreme as some of its predecessors.  It attributes digital growth to tablet ownership and says that 50% of the country is expected to own a tablet by 2018.

It also forecasts that ebook sales will help to grow the market overall for book publishers, so that it will be worth £1.9bn in 2018 (vs £1.8m in 2013).  As it also foresees a loss of more than £500m print sales over the intervening period, presumably the authors believe that ebook pricing will find the correct market level and stop falling.

The entire Deloitte’s report may be downloaded here.