Saturday, September 20, 2008

E-Books & Electronic Publishing Drive Growth in the World Publishing Industry

Internet, e-books, electronic editing, and emergence of online subscription business models have all irreversibly changed the publishing landscape. Technology innovation has helped publishers save time and money, and has afforded the flexibility to publish any type of information at the earliest with lesser turnaround time and minimal costs. Emergence of electronic commerce, and the ensuing efforts to digitalize publication has expedited the process of publishing virtually any kind of publishing material from newspapers to databases, in addition to reduction in cost of binding, distribution, printing, shipping and warehousing. On-line publishing is gaining in importance given the potential of this platform to reach wider audiences throughout the world.

Key factors wielding an influence on the world publishing market include favorable economic conditions, lifestyle trends, population growth, purchasing power, ethnic diversity and age composition, education standards, and foreign trade. Electronic publishing or on-line publishing is the fast catching popular medium for publishing books, newspapers, magazines, and other types of publications. There has been rising interest in the field of CD-Rom publishing with increasing number of publishers offering the CD-Rom version that enables convenient storage, search and retrieval. Due to the rising acceptance of on-line publications, several key magazines, local newspapers, regional newspaper and wire services have started offering on-line services.

The global publishing industry is highly fragmented with large numbers of publishers jostling for a foothold in the market. Besides commercial publishers, the publishing industry also comprises of non-profit publishers, university presses, and scholarly associations. In an attempt to retain global competitiveness, big publishing houses are seeking opportunities to achieve synergies in their operations through acquisitions and consolidation. Time Warner, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Random House and Penguin dominate the book-publishing market while Reed Elsevier, Thomson Corp, Wolters Kluwer, and McGraw-Hill take the lead in the professional publishing market. Reader's Digest Association and Time Warner represent popular publishers of magazines while lulu.com, xlibris.com, authorhouse.com, and upublish.com offer latest in dot.com publishing.

The United States and Europe dominate the global publishing industry. Book publishing market in the US is witnessing an upward trend and is expected to sustain growth in imminent years. Sales of elementary/secondary education and higher education books are expected to grow at a moderate rate in the coming years. Paperbacks and hardcover sales are also expected to increase across all the segments including adult trade, juvenile trade, and mass market. The scientific publishing market is composed of books, journals, and databases, and between the three, the share of journals continues to grow, while that of books and databases is stable.

Emergence of newer forms of information media and entertainment has adversely affected the traditional publishing industry. Widespread use of mobile phones, the Internet and increased patronage of "new used book" stores that offer newly published books at considerably reduced prices have beset industry prospects. Internet sales have thrown in new challenges to both fixed-price sales and supplies from publishers through the distribution agencies to retail bookstores. A host of online bookstores such as Amazon.co.jp distribute books directly through the Internet. Besides, the electronic versions are available at a substantial discount as compared to the paper versions. Major players in the book-printing segment are investing in novel technologies and equipment, in order to compete with electronic media and Internet.

In conclusion, transition of book, newspaper, magazine, and journal publishers from traditional to on-line publishing is a continuing trend in the industry. Online publishing market will gain a significant competitive edge over traditional publishing based on cost competitiveness, time saving, and quick access to mass market. AuthorHouse.com, iUniverse.com, CafePress.com, and Xlibris.com are the new-age publishers offering on-demand, instant publishing of books. Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Borders.com distribute books through the Internet.

The report titled "Publishing Industry: A Global Outlook", published by Global Industry Analysts Inc, provides a collection of statistical anecdotes, market briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The research paper provides a condensed overview of the global market, and extensively enumerates the recent mergers, and acquisitions together with latest industry developments. The reader stands to gain an understanding of the macro picture prevalent in regional markets across the globe. Annotated with 4 market data tables, the US market is briefly summarized. Other synopsized regional markets include Canada, Mexico, Japan, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Taiwan, Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador among others. Also included is an indexed, easy-to-refer, fact-finder directory listing the addresses, and contact details of 616 companies worldwide.

For more details about this research report, visit http://www.strategyr.com/Publishing_Industry_Market_Report.asp.

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