The big are getting bigger. Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2016 released

The Global Ranking 2016, which is based predominantly on 2015 revenue data, lists (or is describing) a total of 57 publishing groups, as in 2014 and 2015, with a combined revenue of m€ 63,739 (up 8 % from 2014, and a staggering 22 % over 2013).

In its 10th iteration, the current transformation of the international book business is reflected in much detail.

After years of relative stability, the reported results for 2014 and now even more dramatically for 2015 show a clear strengthening at the top, with the 10 largest groups accumulating revenues of €34.2bn (up 8 % from 2014, and up 17 % from 2013), and accounting now for 54% of the 50 largest groups described in this ranking, in a continuing increase since 2013.

Over the years, the trend of the biggest growing ever bigger, becomes clear, and ever more so as all of the companies listed in this Ranking are already a selection of the market leaders in the respective territories and segments of the industry.


The top segment of the 10 largest conglomerates in publishing highlights a number of developments:

  • The top 5 have not changed for the past 3 years (with the small exception of ThomsonReuters and RELX changing positions in 2013 and 2014);
  • All the top 10 have seen yearly increases in revenue for the past 3 years, with the exception of Hachette, as it had a slump in 2014 that however was fully compensated in 2015, and McGraw-Hill Education, as it currently undergoes a complete makeover from being acquired and re-positioned by private equity;
  • As in previous years, the very top is, and remains, clearly a domain of actors specialized in either educational (Pearson) or scientific and professional information (ThomsonReuters, Reed Elsevier – now rebranded as RELX -, or Wolters Kluwer).
  • Developments at the largest general trade publishers are more mixed, yet with several companies back in growth, from both increasing sales and through acquisitions.
  • China’s leading publishing groups continue mostly to expand.
  • Brazil’s publishing industry has fallen behind, caught between the severe domestic economic crisis, and a loss of the Brazilian currency, driving down their representation in a ranking that is measuring in Euro (or US dollars).

The recent financial evolution in publishing shows all but a level playing field.

The Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry is an initiative copyrighted by Livres Hebdo ( ), France, co-published by BookDao ( ), China, The Bookseller ( ), UK, buchreport ( ), Germany, Publishers Weekly ( ), USA, and PublishNews Brazil ( ). It has been researched by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting ( ).

For more details, see here.

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new reports, blogposts and events