Medical Publishing Market in Transition Recovers in 2017-2018

    After declining at a compound annual rate of 3.9% in the period from 2014 to 2016, the medical publishing market recovered to grow 0.5% in 2017 and 1.1% in 2018 driven by the continued growth in online delivery of book collections, journal site licenses, open access fees, databases, tools and other forms of online content—this according to Global Medical Publishing 2019-2023, the latest report from Simba Information.

    Original online content in the form of products like electronic clinical references, drug databases and training tools surpassed books as the No. 2 sales producing publishing activity in 2018. Global Medical Publishing 2019-2023 found that online content grew faster than all other channels — faster than the largest category journals and much faster than books.

    The global medical publishing market in 2018 totaled $10.1 billion, which was a 1.1% increase from $10.0 million in 2017. However, when you remove the impact of fluctuations in major currencies that medical publishing activities are transacted in around the globe, the market was flat against 2017.

    Simba estimates the market grew slightly (0.5%) in 2017 — a year when the impact of currency exchange was minimal — after declining at a compound annual rate of 3.9% in the period from 2014 to 2016. Market declines in that period were tied to budget pressure at academic institutions and the decision of many corporate customers and advertisers to cut back their spending post-recession.

    In that respect, the last two years represent somewhat of a comeback for medical publishing. Still, academic institutions continue to face budget pressure and grapple with the transition to open access journals, which makes subscription renewal negotiations difficult. Print books and pharma journal advertising continue to decline.

    Global Medical Publishing 2019-2023 outlines the strategies publishers, individually and collectively, will pursue in this environment of constant change.

    Market leaders in medical online content include Wolters Kluwer and Elsevier, but many others as well. In the traditional clinical reference area, Wolters Kluwer’s UpToDate and Elsevier’s ClinicalKey vie with EBSCO’s DynaMed, Hearst’s Zynx and McGraw Hill’s AccessMedicine. Market leading drug databases include IBM’s Micromedex, Hearst’s First DataBank, and Wolters Kluwer’s LexiComp. In the training and certification market, leaders include Wolters Kluwer’s Learning Digest, Elsevier’s HESI, but also Ascend Learning and Pearson.

    Global Medical Publishing 2019-2023 provides detailed market information for medical and health care publishing, segmented by delivery medium: journals, books, online content, abstracting and indexing (A&I) and other activities (audio, video and CD-ROM). It analyzes trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2023. The report includes an in-depth review of 10 leading medical publishers.

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