Jeremy Greenfield: In 2011, Hachette is expected to derive 20% of its revenues from digital. How will the company accomplish this? What will this number be in 2012? In 2015?
Maja Thomas: It’s an interesting question.
I started in audio and spent a lot of time in audio. At first, I was at the beginning of a business that didn’t really exist. It was a minimal part of what we did. When I took it over and started to really work on it, it had that rapid, hockey-stick growth; but it took ten years to get to 10% of the revenue of hardcover books.
With digital books, it’s been a lot faster: It was 8% last year, 4% in 2009 and 1% in 2008. It’s now surpassed 10% in less than half the time.
Audio was the first publishing business to go digital. It was the first business where the file could be delivered by iTunes. At first, our revenue was 90% or more physical and much less on the digital side, but, as time went by, this has started to shift. While other publishers have dropped the physical format, we have not. We are at 50% physical.
There is a natural limit to the growth of digital. I think it might be 50%. …
(Via Digital Book World.)