Publishing revenues to plunge and thousands of jobs at risk

From The Bookseller:

Publishing, including books, newspapers and magazines, could see a £7bn fall in revenue and 51,000 jobs axed due to Covid-19’s effect on bookshop closures and print sales, a report claims.

In total, 400,000 jobs could be lost across the creative industries amid projected weekly revenue losses of £1.4bn a week in 2020, according to research by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics. It predicts publishing will see a 40% decline while 26% of jobs could go.

However, its definition of publishing includes directories, newspapers, periodicals and other activities alongside books—a total sector employing 177,000 people with a total turnover at the start of the year of £16.3bn.

That is substantially more than the £6bn the PA says book publishing brings in alone each year. Figures for book publishing have not been broken out in the Oxford Economics report.

The Creative Industries Federation, which commissioned the research, has warned of a “cultural catastrophe” facing the entire creative sector. It predicts the sector will be hit twice as hard as the wider economy, with a combined revenue drop of £74bn this year and one in five jobs expected to be axed.

. . . .

“Publishing could lose £7bn in revenue and 26% of jobs, affected by the closure of bookshops and decline of print sales. As we emerge from lockdown, we will need imagination and creativity more than ever. We will need those who can take specks of ideas and carve them into a vision for the future. But for that, we need our creative industries.”

. . . .

“The freelance community has been hit really badly by Covid-19 and many freelancers haven’t been supported by any of the government schemes. People are losing their jobs and their businesses.  I worked in publishing for 30 years, and know there’s an incredible creative and innovative eco-system in publishing, in and out of house, from editors and agents, to production, sales and designers. I think what’s been proven is those jobs aren’t going to go anywhere, they’re not going to be automated. The industry is still going to need that ecosystem and it will impact publishing if we lose it.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

5 thoughts on “Publishing revenues to plunge and thousands of jobs at risk”

  1. I can’t help but speculate that many of these jobs, at least so far as the Big 5 are concerned, are low paid sinecures for unwanted fine arts graduates in New York.

    More seriously, the Covid-19 crisis has, at least in my view, simply accelerated what was going to happen anyway.

  2. The Creative Industries Federation, which commissioned the research, has warned of a “cultural catastrophe” facing the entire creative sector.

    Sounds more like a financial catastrophe.

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