The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive hit to the offline bookselling and newspaper industries, with millions of customers turning to digital media and online content amid lockdown.

According to data presented by Finaria, the rising demand for online content is expected to continue this year, with the global ePublishing industry reaching $27bn in revenue in 2021, a 9% jump year-over-year.

eBooks to hit $15.6bn in Revenue This Year

The ePublishing market includes eBooks, digital editions of the consumer or business magazines called eMagazines, and ePapers as online versions of daily or weekly newspapers. This type of digital content provides several advantages to customers.

The content is easy to purchase, and can be downloaded directly on the reading device itself. Whole libraries can be stored online without the need for physical space, which means easier transportation of books. Moreover, ePublishing is also a cost-efficient option for publishers, allowing them to save on printing, logistics, and sales costs.

In 2017, the revenue of the global ePublishing industry amounted to $21.8bn. In the next two years, this figure rose by 13% to $24.7bn. Statistics show that revenues of the entire sector slightly increased to $24.8bn in 2020, despite the increasing demand for online content amid the COVID-19 lockdown. However, this figure is set to reach almost $32.3bn by 2025.

The global ePublishing market is dominated by eBooks, which are set to reach over one billion users and generate $15.6bn in revenue in 2021, a 6% jump year-over-year. eMagazines and ePapers play a considerably smaller role and are expected to hit $7.2bn and $4.2bn in revenue, respectively.

Amazon is the key player in the ePublishing business. With the launch of its eReader called Kindle and the associated Kindle Store in 2007, Amazon became an online distribution service for eBooks.

Following the streaming trend, Amazon also offers subscription-based access to its library, enabling an unlimited consumption of eBooks for a monthly fee. Today, the Kindle Store includes over six million eBooks and 60,000 audiobooks, making it one of the world’s biggest ePublishing services.

Statista survey showed that Amazon dominates in the US, German, and the UK market, with 83%, 66%, and 84% of respondents using its services to buy eBooks. On the other hand, the Chinese market is highly competitive, with iReader, Amazon and QQ Reader holding around 30% of the market share each.

The United States, Japan, and China to Generate Over 50% of ePublishing Revenues in 2021

The United States has a leading role in the global ePublishing market and is expected to generate $9.8bn in revenue in 2021, an 8% increase in a year. Statistics show that eBooks account for more than 60% of that value.

As the second-largest globally, the Japanese market is expected to hit $2.3bn value in 2021, 10% more than a year ago.

Revenue of the Chinese ePublishing market, as the third-largest globally, is set to rise by 11.1% YoY to $2.2bn in 2021. Although China is far behind in this comparison, statistics show the number of eBook users in the country is set to reach 378 million this year, almost four times more than in the United States and Japan combined.

With $1.7bn in revenue, the United Kingdom ranked as the largest ePublishing market in Europe and fourth-largest globally. Statistics show that eBooks also represent the largest segment of the UK’s market, expected to hit $965 million value this year. South Korea follows, with $956 million in revenue, respectively.

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