Market Shares: Where the Danger Lies

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June 2012
by Curt Matthews

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How much of the total market for books is controlled by the Big Six publishers?

I have not seen any sort of figure, hypothesis, or guess in any article or blog about this question, but recently I went in search of information about how dominant the Big Six are by logging on to the Web site of BookScan. The subscription-only service provided by Nielsen to the book industry, BookScan tracks point-of-sale data gathered from most of the booksellers in the United States (and it’s available to IBPA members at a discount).

Publishers’ Market Shares

Using BookScan figures, I added up all the year-to-date unit sales of the Big Six, and then divided by the year-to-date unit sales for all the publishers Nielsen tracks.

That produced an answer to my question: the Big Six account for roughly 51 percent of the market.

How reliable is this percentage?…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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