Monday, July 7, 2014

The World's Largest Publishers

Publishers Weekly recently posted the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly’s annual ranking, based on annual revenue, of the world’s largest publishers in 2013. (You can read the full article here.)

What is interesting. though not surprising, about this list is that the top publishers are in the corporate/business sector. (Educational testing is dominated by Pearson.) 

Trade publishing is dominated by Random/Penguin (owned by Bertelsmann), followed by Hachette, Holtzbrinck (owner of St. Martin's Press), and Grupo Planeta, a Spanish media group. (After Mandarin, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world.)

Oxford University Press, the oldest university press in the world, and Cambridge University Press still rank in the top 50, but no other university press generated enough income to make it onto the list.

To offer some perspective, Walmart, the largest company in the world, rakes in $456 billion annually. That's 50 times more than the largest publisher (Pearson) and 150 times more than the largest trade publisher (Random/Penguin).

Rank (2013)Rank (2012)Publishing Company (Group or Division)CountryMother Corporation or OwnerCountry of Mother Corporation2013 Revenue in $M2012 Revenue in $M
22Reed ElsevierUK/NL/USReed ElsevierUK/NL/US$7,288$5,934
33Thomson-ReutersUSThe Woodbridge Company Ltd.Canada$5,576$5,386
44Wolters KluwerNLWolters KluwerNL$4,920$4,766
55Random HouseGermanyBertelsmann AGGermany$3,664$3,328
66Hachette LivreFranceLagardèreFrance$2,851$2,833
710HoltzbrinckGermanyVerlagsgruppe Georg von HoltzbrinckGermany$2,222$2,220
88Grupo PlanetaSpainGrupo PlanetaSpain$2,161$2,597
911Cengage*USApax Partners et al.US/CanadaN/A$1,993
107McGraw-Hill EducationUSThe McGraw-Hill CompaniesUS$1,992$2,292
1313De Agostini Editore*ItalyGruppo De AgostiniItalyN/A$1,724
1422China Publishing GroupChina (PR)Government; partly publicly listedChina (PR)$1,499$1,104
1517Houghton Mifflin HarcourtUSHoughton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Group Ltd.US/Cayman Islands$1,379$1,286
1619HarperCollinsUSNews CorporationUS$1,369$1,189
1716Springer Science and Business MediaGermanyEQT and GIC InvestorsSweden, Singapore$1,301$1,298
1821Oxford University PressUKOxford UniversityUK$1,254$1,125
1914ShueishaJapanHitotsubashi GroupJapan$1,191$1,464
2020InformaUKInforma plcUK$1,185$1,126
2130China Education and Media Group (form. Higher Education Press)China (PR)China Education and Media GroupChina (PR)$1,152$702
2329Egmont GroupDenmark/NorwayEgmont International Holding A/SDenmark$1,101$792
2425Grupo SantillanaSpainPRISASpain$1,020$985
2518ShogakukanJapanHitotsubashi GroupJapan$1,011$1,254
2626BonnierSwedenThe Bonnier GroupSweden$976$968
2724Kadokawa PublishingJapanKadokawa Holdings Inc.Japan$900$1,000
2828Simon & SchusterUSCBSUS$809$790
2932KlettGermanyKlett GruppeGermany$622$604
3031Woongjin ThinkBigKoreaWoongjin HoldingKorea$616$667
3147Groupe Madrigall (Gallimard, Flammarion)FranceMadrigallFranceN/AN/A
3334Readers Digest*USRDA Holding Co.USN/A$533
3436Messagerie / GeMSItalyMessagerie ItalianeItaly$543$491
3537Media ParticipationsFranceMedia ParticipationsBelgium$481$455
3635MondadoriItalyThe Mondadori GroupItaly$462$511
3843Cambridge University PressUKCambridge University PressUK$433$396
4042SanomaFinlandSanoma WSOYFinland$422$426
4144Westermann VerlagsgruppeGermanyMedien UnionGermany$401$361
4240HarlequinCanadaTorstar Corp.Canada$374$428
4448RCS LibriItalyRCS Media GroupItaly$348$333
4555EKSMO-AST (since 2012: EKSMO)RussiaPrivately ownedRussia$343$232
4645La Martinière GroupeFranceLa Martinière GroupeFrance$329$351
4753WekaGermanyWeka FirmengruppeGermany$316$258
4851Haufe GruppeGermanyPrivately ownedGermany$315$291
4952OLMA Media GroupRussiaPrivately ownedCyprus$306$257
5027GakkenJapanGakken Co. Ltd.Japan$297$937
5254ShinchoshaJapanPrivately ownedJapanN/A$245
5357Editions AtlasFranceGruppo De AgostiniItalyN/A$230
5458Groupe Albin MichelFranceGroupe Albin MichelFrance$232$224
5539Abril EducaçãoBrazilAbril groupBrazil$216$203

*2013 placement estimated based on 2012 revenue


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hmmm....funny, you forgot to mention the largest publisher in the world, the Watchtower Society ( published in 700 languages) and which is available in 300 languages online.....let's not skip over the fact they do it at no charge to people over the entire planet.


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