Simon & Schuster (NYSE:CBS) expects digital sales to account for 17 percent of total revenue this year as it sells e-books in 150 markets around the world. Last year, digital book sales accounted for 10 percent of the publisher’s revenue.
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CEO Carolyn Reidy sent out an e-mail to S&S staff on Monday, saying she is “excited about the potential for digital publishing to reshape our international business, reducing the friction of shipping physical editions overseas, improving our ability to reach readers around the world, and critically, helping us to grow the audience for our authors in the far corners of the globe in markets that are currently underserved by physical book distribution.”
Reidy’s 17 percent estimate seems on point, as first and third quarter estimates were reported as being 18 percent and 17 percent of revenue earlier this year. Reidy noted that S&S published 233 books that appeared on The New York Times bestseller lists this year, of which 29 reached the number-one spot, as sales of digital content boosted availability and made books available to more audiences.
If Simon & Schuster’s success is indicative of a larger market trend, that can only mean good things for Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which make two of the most popular e-readers on the market: the Nook and Kindle. And the growing trend toward digital content in general, with newspapers like The New York Times and magazines like Elle and Vanity Fair offering digital subscriptions, bodes well for the tablet industry as a whole, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Samsung set to be the top beneficiaries.