RELEASE: The Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2012 out today
June 25, 2012 by ruediger

After Digital, Globalization Plus Emerging Markets Is The Next Frontier For The Publishing Industry.

The « Livres Hebdo Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2012 », co-published by Livres Hebdo (France), Buchreport (Germany), Publishers Weekly (USA), The Bookseller (UK) and PublishNews Brazil (Brazil) maps old champions and new contenders fighting over the global knowledge society.

The top five, as portrayed in the updated “Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry” shows, at the top, a bunch of old champions in the global knowledge society: British Pearson, made of the uncontested leader in Education, and one of the biggest brands in fiction and nonfiction Trade books, Penguin, followed by Reed Elsevier, Thomason Reuters and Wolters Kluwer, spearheading mostly digital services for scientific and professional information, and French Hachette, the new comer to knowledge in a truly worldwide perspective.

Those five companies are giants with yearly publishing revenues (not counting newspapers, magazines, TV of advertising) of more than 2 bn € (or 2.5 bn US$), and imposing a strong presence truly around the globe, to provide book or similarly ‘complex’ content, notably leading journals, to the world.

The ranks beneath the very top mirror a landscape of ultimate change though, with new contenders, including Spanish Grupo Planeta, which owns both a massive share in Latin American and in French publishing, or a lineup of mostly educational publishers from emerging markets, like Brazil’s Abril Educacao, and Saraiva, or “China Education and Media Group”, a recently government sponsored merger of several Chinese publishers into a new global actor, or Russia’s EKSMO (which only a few weeks ago, saved its closest rival, AST from going under, by acquiring it). In Korea, publishers have successfully learned to operate not only entire schools, but hire 30,000 or so teachers for after school tutoring on their materials, and aiming at having entirely digital textbooks by 2015. India, which harbors not one publisher in the Ranking, as its knowledge is still governed from abroad, mostly from market leaders in the UK, has announced a 60$ tablet and grooms its domestic rival to Amazon for distribution, branded Flipkart, to step into the new global race for reading and, more importantly, for learning.

As a consequence, what matters most in the newest update of the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry, is probably as much to be found at the top, as at its long tail, which is growing rapidly in both length and substance.

The Global Ranking has been initiated by the French book trade magazine Livres Hebdo ( ) in 2007, and is researched by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting, and currently co-published by buchreport (Germany, ), The Bookseller (UK, ), PublishNews (Brazil, ), and Publishers Weekly (US, ). It lists all publishing companies worldwide with revenues from publishing (excluding newspapers, magazines, or financial services) of more than 150 m€ (or 200 mUS$).


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