More than 450 Spanish and Latin American publishers represented by Bookwire, the leading ebook and audiobook distribution platform in the Spanish Markets, have experienced a 35% growth in their digital revenues derived from the sales of their ebooks and audiobooks in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the preview of the main conclusions of Bookwire’s sixth annual report on the digital evolution of Spanish Markets (Latin America and Spain) published in collaboration with Dosdoce.com
Subscription culture consolidation in the Spanish Markets
Although unit sales of ebooks and audiobooks on online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, among others, are still the main sales channel for Spanish and Latin American publishers, representing 79% of their total digital sales, one of the main conclusions of this year’s Bookwire Annual Report is that sales derived from subscription platforms, such as Audible, Nubico, Scribd and Storytel among others, are becoming more and more relevant each year for the Spanish publishing sector.
Ebook and audiobook subscription platforms have been generating nearly 18% of digital revenues for publishers for two consecutive years (2019 and 2018), when in 2017 they represented only 7% of digital sales, and in 2016 they did not exceed 5%.
Exceptional Audiobook Boom in the Spanish Markets
As in many other international markets, audiobooks have become the center of attention of the publishing sector in Spain and Latin America with spectacular growth figures in 2019.
At the end of 2018, around 8,000 audiobooks in Spanish were available to readers, while in 2017 there were no more than 6,000 titles in Spanish. In 2019, the peak of 10,000 audiobooks in Spanish was surpassed and all the data indicates that in 2020 the 14,000 audiobooks in Spanish will be reached.
Subscription and streaming platforms are the main sales channel for audiobooks, accounting for 83% of total audiobook sales. Revenues generated by publishers specifically through audiobook subscription and streaming platforms has grown by nearly 600% in economic value compared to the previous year.
Digital exports continue to grow – Mexico reinforces its leading position
Spain generates 49% of digital sales. As in the previous five years, Mexico again leads the sales of digital content published in Spanish publishers, reaching 18% of total sales, while the rest of sales of ebooks and audiobooks in Latin America (another 18%) are distributed among other countries in the region (Argentina, Colombia, Chile, etc.). The Hispanic market in the United States continues to grow and already represents 11% of digital sales, just as the European market represents 5% of total digital exports for Spanish and Latin American publishers.
The sale of eLending licenses for e-books and audiobooks to libraries represents 3% of total digital sales in 2019, a figure similar to that reached in 2018.
Strong demand for ebooks below 9.99 euros
The psychological barrier to ebook retail prices below 9.99 euros remains in force in the digital publishing world. 87% of the ebooks available for sale in Spain and Latin America have sales price below 9.99 euros (VAT included).
The average price of ebooks in Spanish amounts to € 7.38 (VAT included), while the average price of audiobooks in Spanish amounts to 14.33 (VAT included).
Download a high resolution version of the infographic with the preliminary main conclusions of Bookwire’s Report at the following link: Infographic 2020.
Download the full Bookwire report on the digital evolution of the Spanish Markets (Latin America and Spain) at the following link: Full Bookwire 2020 report.