10 Biggest Publishing Companies in the World

In this article, we will surf through the 10 biggest publishing companies in the world. If you want to see more publishing companies in this selection, click 5 Biggest Publishing Companies in the World.

The publishing industry is moving at a fast pace in the post-pandemic era. According to Grand View Research, the market size of book publishing was over $138 billion in 2021. However, the sector is evolving to pave the way for the growth of digital publishing. Many publishing companies are adopting digital techniques to enhance the consumer experience. This is why Grand View Research reports that the online channel of the publishing sector is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.90% in the following years.

Local book shops had the most business in 2021, followed by online channels, retail shops, and specialty stores. According to Grand Review Research, as of 2021, the largest market revenue share was recorded by the hard copy segment. It accumulated 78.70% of the entire market. The audiobook segment is set to grow with a CAGR of 3.10%. Among young students, the number of auditory learners is increasing rapidly.

In the publishing sector, North America contributed 32.90% to the global market in 2021. Thus, it is the most significant region for the growth and innovation of the publishing sector. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region is anticipated to grow with a CAGR of 2.50% by 2030. 

The publishing industry has witnessed a shift in trends from the consumers. Therefore, many publishers are eyeing to increase their audience growth and marketing. About 34.2% of publishers have set it as their primary goal. Nonetheless, 25.80% of publishers prioritize SEO. They also unanimously agree that their biggest challenge is to create unique content.

Despite technological advancement, the publishing sector is set to grow and thrive, as 64% of businesses believe that printing and publishing will stay relevant to them. Under these circumstances, popular publishing companies and key stakeholders of the industry will have an impactful role to play in the following years. 

The publishing sector faced long-lasting percussion of the global pandemic and deteriorating macroeconomic conditions. However, these biggest publishing companies in the world have posted commendable results over the last year or so. It indicates that they are marking a comeback from the previous downfalls. The upcoming year will help them in further scaling their revenue.

Here are the top 10 biggest publishing companies in the world. We used metrics like market cap and global annual revenue to pick and rank these companies. 

10. Cengage Publishing

Global Revenue for 2021: $1.37 billion

Cengage Publishing is an America-based publishing company that primarily deals in educational content. Most of its consumers prefer it for higher education study and professional material. Many students acquire the paid subscription of Cengage to get access to the digital higher education catalog.

The fiscal year for the company ended on March 31, 2022. It has recorded a cash revenue of $1.37 billion this year. It is 8% above the revenue results for the previous year. The adjusted cash profit has also grown by 9% to reach $326 million. However, the US Higher Education business has declined by 1% to touch $671 million. It is the only sector that faced a downtrend in the period.

The company has posted positive results because of the resumption of pre-COVID demand. Also, new contributions and partnerships have helped with impressive growth. The research sector saw a spike of 11%, International Higher Education went up by 9%, the Secondary Education segment went up by 10%, and English Language Teaching saw a rise of 39%. The successful fourth quarter of the company has complemented the impressive fiscal year.

9. Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL)

Market Cap: $1.576 billion as of August 10

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL) is an American multinational publishing company. It is known for publishing educational content for teachers, schools, parents, and children. The company also offers professional learning and consultancy services. It was founded in 1920 and has its headquarters in New York City. 

However, so far in the fiscal year of 2022, Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL) is performing well. In the third quarter of the fiscal year, the revenues went up by 24% on a yearly like-for-like basis. In a quarter that usually presents rather challenging figures, the revenue of $344.5 million is a good achievement. The operating income was down by 19% to $19.5 million.

The demand for the educational content of Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL) is increasing because parents and children are looking to overcome the learning gap caused by the pandemic and online teaching. Therefore, published educational material is in high demand. It is expected that the fourth-quarter results will further stamp the success of this fiscal year for Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL).

8. HarperCollins

Global Revenue in 2021: $1.985 billion

HarperCollins is among the five big English language publishing companies. It is a subsidiary of News Corp and has its headquarters in New York City. In 2021, the company reported a 16% growth in digital sales. Revenue in the period jumped 19%, reaching $1.985 billion. The sales of HarperCollins were up by 14%, and its earnings rose to $303 million. Several acquisitions contributed to the company’s revenue. However, after a decrease in the previous years, the publishing company posted commendable results in that period.

In the nine months of this fiscal year, the revenue has increased by 12%, and the earnings have reached $259 million. The fiscal year is set to end by June 30.

On the other hand, the third-quarter (ending March 31) report suggests that sales went up by 5% but the profits fell by 16%. The comparison was made on a year-for-year basis. HarperCollins believes there were a few disruptions due to lower ebook sales, and a decline in children’s and foreign-language book sales. However, the company expects to overcome this phase gradually.

7. Hachette Livre

Global Revenue in 2021: €2.598 billion

Hachette Livre is a France-based publishing company. It acts as a trade and educational publication group and was the number one trade publisher in France in the year 2020. Hachette Livre prints over 17,000 new titles every year.  It publishes in different languages, including English, French, and Spanish.

Publication from Hachette Livre attracts audiences of all age groups. They cover travel and study guides, school books, and books for young readers. The company landed a revenue of around €2.598 billion in 2021. The revenue saw a boost of 8.10% from last year. eBooks fetched the highest revenue for the publishing company.

The last quarter of 2021 proved to be a breakthrough for the company. With the acquisition of Workman Publishing and the depreciation of the Pound Sterling, the company posted revenue of €772 million in the last quarter of 2021. Furthermore, the revenue figures saw the most significant rise in France. Other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America, also experienced some increase. The operating margin of the company was 13.50% for the year.

In the first quarter of 2022, the organization reported revenue of €554 million. These figures are 1.4% higher on a like-for-like basis. These positive results are fetched due to the momentum built in the last two years. In this quarter, Spain and Latin America posted a 34.5% increase in like-for-like revenue. Ebooks made up 8.1% of the business, lower than that of Q1 in 2021. Downloadable audiobooks were responsible for 4.80% of revenue.

6. John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY)

Market Cap: $2.904 billion as of August 10

John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) was established in 1807, and since then, the organization has earned a name in the list of the biggest publishing companies in the world. It primarily excels in publishing instructional materials. It offers print and electronic products, books, journals, and subscription services.

The last fiscal year of John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) ended on April 30, 2022. This year, the publishing company observed a 7% increase in its revenue, reaching the $2,082.9 million mark. Moreover, the operating income was $58 million with an increase of 14%. However, the cash provided by operating activities was down by 6% to $339.1 million.

In addition to this, John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) observed a free cash flow of $223 million. The recurring revenue accounted for 58% of the total revenue. Also, digital products and tech-enabled services made up 84% of the revenue. The company experienced organic growth during this fiscal year. It crossed the $2 billion revenue mark for the very first time. The adjusted EPS of John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) was $4.16 million after a yearly increase of 4%.

Moreover, the company saw a 2% rise in revenue and a 14% rise in operating income during the fourth quarter. It helped the publishing organization to end the year on a high. John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:WLY) expects further growth in its revenue in the fiscal year of 2023.


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Disclosure: None. 10 Biggest Publishing Companies in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.