Print’s here to stay!

Vikrant Mathur, Director India and Asia-Pacific for Nielsen Book Research, shares a few statistics of India’s demographics and its impact on the Indian publishing industry.


The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, which spans 60 countries to represent a global online population of some two billion consumers—the largest survey of its kind, states that India’s score is second highest in SEA (South East Asia) at 124, just after Indonesia (127 points) in Q1 2018. It shows Indians are more positive in their expenditure compared to other countries in the world. India is a highly attractive market today with huge potential going forward. If we look at all the large growth economies in the world today which relates to high consumer confidence, none of them have delivered consistently high growth in the last 3 years. It’s only India which has delivered that so from a GDP standpoint.

India’s demographic advantage

The growing young and working population of India is the biggest advantage to India. This is good news for the Indian education and children’s’ leisure publishing industry as over one-third of the total population is aged between 6 to 24 years; more than 198 m students are enrolled for primary education. Books form an integral part of education and parents do not shy away from spending money on books, other than textbooks, for pleasure reading with their children. Parents prefer to purchase printed books for their children as they are very aware of the problems associated with high screen times. The Book fairs in respective cities and schools helps immensely to inculcate reading habits in children. Though, we are still very far compared to other western countries in reading habits per se, but slowly and surely steadily we are moving towards right direction.

Publishing segment growth and its
developing infrastructure

It is estimated that the school (K-12) market will grow over 19% by 2020 and that schools infrastructure will continue with combination of increased Government funds and private schools. The Higher Education segment will also grow around 21% by 2020 with 712 universities.

Meanwhile, the Trade Market will grow around 9% by 2020, with readers more inclined to read Indian content, especially in the Fiction genre. More and more new Indian authors are getting published and along with their translated editions, giving these authors a wider audience.

Bestselling authors

The bestselling authors in India in 2018 include Chetan Bhagat, Amish, Ravinder Singh etc. in Adult Fiction; Mark Manson, Devdutt Pattanaik, Sadhguru etc. in Adult Non Fiction and J.K. Rowling, Jeff Kinney, Anant Pai etc. in Children’s. This shows that Indian readers wish to read both Indian as well as foreign authors.

Growth of digital entertainment

Digital entertainment has increased in India with the increased penetration of internet and smart phones. As per IAMAI sources, internet penetration in India is 35% and smart phone penetration is 25%. This is boosting the consumption of digital content like movies, web series, etc.

Impact of books on movies, television, Over-the-top media

Recent examples of web series like Sacred Games and movies like The Accidental Prime Minister and Raazi, all based on titles, have helped increase book sales. This is one of the ways people are consuming both digital and print content. They look forward to reading the book after watching the movie/series or vice versa.

Print’s here to stay…

In summary, the print market is here to stay for a long time with other medium supporting its growth. Audio books, e-books and other digital content will continue to complement print books, making them accessible and available to a much wider audience.

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