2015 publishing industry world rankings by size, and more….

Many thanks to my colleague Janet Forsyth for this interesting update on employers in the publishing sector – a really useful insight into employers for those of you interested in this sector – Rebecca

I was interested to read recently on the Publishing Scotland website, that the list of top 10 largest publishers globally includes 2 UK companies, Pearson and the RELX group, and for the first time,  2 Chinese publishers,  Phoenix Publishing and Media Company and China South Publishing & Media Group Co Ltd. 

I’ve copied the top ten, (from a total of 57) with parent companies names in brackets, below:

  1. Pearson
  2. ThomsonReuters (The Woodbridge Company Ltd)
  3. RELX Group (Reed Elsevier)
  4. Wolters Kluwer
  5. Penguin Random House (Bertelsmann AG)
  6. Phoenix Publishing and Media Company
  7. China South Publishing & Media Group Co Ltd
  8. Hachette Livre (Lagardere)
  9. McGraw-Hill Education  (Apollo Global Management LLC)
  10. Holtzbrinck (Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck)

As well as Pearson and the RELX Group, there are three other UK companies ranked: Oxford University Press at 19, Informa at 22 and Cambridge University Press at 38.

Read more on this and find more on the publishing companies, via the Publishing Scotland website, and Publishers Weekly

And if you’re left wondering just how many books/publications/media sources the world needs, given the size of the industry as indicated by the players above,  you may be interested to listen to a recent debate ‘Are we publishing too many books?’

This was discussed on R4’s Front Row programme, with Samira Ahmed as host at the  Hay Festival, with guests:

  • Philip Jones editor of the trade journal The Bookseller,
  • Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books,
  • Alexandra Pringle, the group editor in chief of Bloomsbury
  • Ali Sparkes, author of 41 books for children


Listen to the debate, opinions, and their take on the impact of digital publishing, and other current issues.

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