The latest business results for Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster, disclosed in the first quarter 2016 earnings release for its parent CBS Corporation, show a slight falloff in overall sales and digital sales, but steady revenues. “Publishing revenues of $145 million for the first quarter of 2016 were even with the same prior-year period,” stated the release. “Digital revenues represented 28 percent of Publishing’s total revenues for the first quarter of 2016,” compared to 31 percent for the same quarter a year ago. Additionally, “operating income of $13 million for the first quarter of 2016 grew from $12 million in the first quarter of 2015, primarily reflecting lower production and selling costs.”
Further reporting on the figures in Publishers Weekly included the news that “sales of digital audio were up by double digits in the quarter.” PW also quoted S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy to the effect that the ebook share of the market has largely stabilized, and that she expects sales in this area to remain broadly level through 2016.
S&S appears to be fully behind digital all the same. In their investor newsletter for the quarter, CBS stated: “for the first time Simon & Schuster is making available key titles to the academic library market as ebooks. More than 1,200 titles in subject areas such as business, psychology, history, social sciences, political sciences and literature will provide libraries with more options to serve students, faculty, and researchers in the world of higher education.” Maybe we can expect more such initiatives from S&S in future.