Library Spending


Today’s market size is the dollar amount spent, worldwide, by libraries on content. “Content” in this context refers to all material, physical or digital, purchased by libraries to become a part of their offerings.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011 and estimates for 2013
Market size: $23.78 billion and $24.79 billion respectively
Source: Andrew Neilson, “Content Spending by Library Type and Geography, 2011,” The Rise of eBooks: Global eBooks Trends, Elsevier, June 23, 2013, available online here. The photo comes from this website and is an interior shot of the Washington State Library.
Original Source: Outsell, Inc.
Posted on February 27, 2014



Newsprint is a grade of paper used primarily for printing newspapers, advertising inserts and advertising mailers. It comes not in sheets but in huge, long rolls for use in web offset, letterpress and flexographic printers. As the digitizing of information has advanced, it will come as no surprise to see that the demand for newsprint has been on the decline. We made a graph to show how the value of newsprint shipments by the paper industry have fared over the last fifteen years in the United States. The newsprint industry is designated as NAICS 322122 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since the majority of newsprint is used in the production of newspapers, the decline of the newspaper industry is mirrored in the decline of newsprint production. Among the factors causing a decline in the newspaper industry are a declining readership, particularly that of young adults, the rise of digital editions for which paid subscriptions are far less, and the decline in advertising revenue that has resulted as advertisers’ budgets are being split among a growing number of media outlets, many online. For figures on the newspaper industry, check our earlier post on that market, here.

Today’s market size is the value of U.S. newsprint shipments at the wholesale level in 1998 (a peak year for shipments) and 2011. Worth noting is the fact that declines in newsprint have exceeded declines in newspaper circulation during this period—46% decline for newsprint shipments versus 21% decline for daily newspaper circulation—suggesting that the papers that are in circulation are not only fewer than before, but have fewer pages as well.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1998 and 2011
Market size: $5.42 billion and $2.92 billion respectively
Source: “Value of Shipments for Product Classes,” Annual Survey of Manufactures, editions: 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2011. This series of reports is produced by the U.S. Bureau of the Census in all non Economic Census years. The reports are available online through the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder system, here. Newspaper circulation data are from “Newspaper Circulation Volume,” Newspaper Association of America, September 4, 2012, available online here.
Original Source: First Research and the U.S. Bureau of the Census
Posted on September 12, 2013

Paper Consumption

While the use of paper and paper products has not declined significantly—despite much talk in the 1990s of a coming paperless society—the publishing industry is using less paper. According to a new industry report, paper consumption by the book industry declined by 34% from 2006 to 2010, due in part to the great recession and in part to increasing sales of e-books. This information comes from a report whose primary purpose was to track the book publishing industry’s overall environmental impact on the world. Another item highlighted in the report is the increasing quantity of recycled material in the paper that is used by the industry. According to the report, the use of recycled fiber by the book publishing industry rose from 5% of all fiber in 2004 to 24% in 2010.

By way of placing this information in the context of the larger paper industry, it is worth noting that during the period covered in the Book Industry Environmental Trends report, the total value of product shipments made by U.S. Paper and Newsprint Mills dropped by 6.2%, from $45.5 billion in 2006 to $42.7 billion in 2010. In 2006, newsprint represented 7% of the value of all paper mill product shipments and by 2010 that percentage had fallen to 3.6%. But, a discussion of newsprint takes us into a complex niche within the paper market, one will cover in another post one day soon.

Today’s market size is the volume of paper consumed by the U.S. book industry in 2006 and 2010.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2006 and 2010
Market size: 1.76 million tons and 1.16 million tons respectively
Source: Jim Milliot, “Keeping the Green in Publishing,” Publishers Weekly, July 22, 2013, pages 5-6, available online here. The rate of decline in value of output by U.S. Paper and Newsprint Mills was calculated from figures published by the U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Manufacturers, (ASM) series of reports, “Value of Product Shipments,” and specifically, data reported under NAICS codes 322121 and 322122. The ASM data are available online here.
Original Source: Book Industry Environmental Trends and U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on September 10, 2013



The news this week about The Washington Post being purchased for $250 million by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made us want to update an earlier post about the newspaper industry, here. And so, we present today’s market size post, including a chart that shows U.S. newspaper industry revenues, annually, since 1998. Clearly, an industry going through significant change.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2000 and 2012
Market size: $50.29 billion and $32.04 billion respectively
Source: “Table 3.0.1 Information Sector Services (NAICS 51) — Estimated Revenue for Employer Firms: 1998 Through 2004,” Service Annual Survey, April 2006, page 24, available online here, and annual updates of the same which are available on the Census Bureau’s site here.
Original Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on August 9, 2013

Trade Books

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) tracks the sales of its members. It has had an increasingly difficult task in tracking sales over the last decade or so, as the industry deals with dramatic changes in distribution networks (bookstores), in the product itself (print versus digital) and in the rise of self-publishing. The AAP report on 2012 sales shows a 7.4% improvement in the sale of trade books over 2011. Trade books are defined as those intended for general readership and are sold through a general retail outlet—whether fiction or nonfiction, print or e-book, and/or brick-and-mortar stores or online sales. The total value of trade book sales in 2012 was, however, far short of that reached in 2007, the peak year for sales during the first decade of the new century.

Today’s market size is based on the sale of trade books, published by the large and middle-sized American book publishers—AAP members—in 2007 and 2012.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007 and 2012
Market size: $8.53 billion and $6.53 billion respectively
Source: “Today’s Lunch: Weak December Doesn’t Spoil 2012 Trade Gain of 7.4 Percent,” article in the April 11, 2013 Publishers Lunch newsletter. Access to the newsletter’s website is here. The data on 2007 sales comes from “Association of American Publishers 2009 S1 Report — Estimated Book Publishing Industry Net Sales 2002-2009,” available online here.
Original source: Association of American Publishers
Posted on April 12, 2013


Annual revenue generated by the newspaper industry in the United States fell again in 2010, following a pattern seen throughout the last decade. The most recent Service Annual Survey, published by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows a decline in revenues from 2005 to 2010 for the newspaper publishing industry of 30 percent, and this represents a loss of revenue before inflation. The loss when adjusted for inflation was 42 percent.

Today’s market size is the size of the newspaper industry in the United States based on annual revenues in 2010.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: $34.7 billion
Source: “Table 3.0.1 Information Sector (NAICS 51)—Estimated Revenue for Employer Firms: 2005 through 2010,” Service Annual Survey, February 2, 2012, available online here.
Posted on February 20, 2012


An announcement is expected on Thursday, January 19th, from Apple Corporation having to do with their plans in the area of electronic textbooks. As one might imagine, much attention is being paid to this news by the academic world and the publishing world alike.

Today’s market size is an estimated total value of textbook sales in the United States based on a quote from Steve Jobs in the recently published biography about him by Walter Issacson. A brief look at the Census Bureau’s data on the topic suggests that the estimate is reasonable. The Census Bureau figure is provided here as well.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007 and 2010
Market size: $7.06 billion in 2007 (Census data) and $8 billion (Jobs quote from 2010 which appears in the biography Steve Jobs
Source: “Sector 51: Information: Industry Series: Preliminary Product Lines by Kind of Business for the Untied States: 2007,” 2007 Economic Census, available here. The Jobs quote is from an article by Roger Yu in USA Today, titled “Technology, Costs, Lack of Appeal slow e-textbook adoption,” published on January 16, 2012 and available here.
Original source: U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on January 18, 2012


During this season of gift giving, books are one category of gift that has seen some growth in recent years. The publishing is going through significant changes as it adjusts to huge shifts in the world of publishing, originating for the most part from the digitalizing of its products and the move to selling electronically, whether traditional books or digitized books.

Today’s market size is the size of the U.S. book publishing industry based on net sales revenues. The market sizes listed below are based on traditional publisher sales— regardless of the format of the books sold—but do not include sales made by self publishers or some very small imprints.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008 and 2010
Market size: $26.5 and $27.9 billion respectively
Source: “BookStats Overall Highlights,” a report by the Association of American Publishers and made available online here.
Original source: Associatin of American Publsihers
Posted on December 23, 2011

“e-Learning” hardware and software

The use of computers and other technological devices in the classroom has long been a source of debate among educators. Equipping schools with the most cutting edge technology is costly and the benefits of these expenditure in actually teaching students is not always evident. Nonetheless, in a world in which computers are ubiquitous the desire to have our children use modern technology with confidence helps to drive growth in the market for “e-learning” devices and software.

Today’s market size is a forecast of the value of the e-learning sub-sector of “the global education market” in the year 2015.

Geographic reference: World
Year: forecast for 2015
Market size: $69 Billion
Source: “Brave New World: The Changing Landscape of Education and Technology,” April 2010, a report posted online by the firm Spire Research & Consulting and availalbe here.
Original source: Wende van der, “The Role of US Higher Education in the Global E-Learning Market,” Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), Research & Occasional Paper Series, University of California, Berkeley, 2002
Posted on September 14, 2011

Higher Education Publishing

Higher Education publishing includes “multiplatform course learning systems and materials for college and university students and faculty.” From 2008 to 2010, net revenue in this area of publishing saw annual growth of 15.5% and 6.6%, respectively. This segment of the publishing world has long known that during times of economic slowdown many people try and make the best of a bad situation and go back to school. Data show the net revenue for 2010.

Geographic reference United States
Year: 2010
Market Size: $4.55 Billion
Source: Association of American Publishers, “BookStats Publishing Categories Highlights,” 2011, available online here.
Original Source: BookStats
Posted on September 1, 2011