The World’s 10 Biggest Publishers

"Stars" original art by NIna Fazzi

Educational publishing companies were the biggest money makers last year.

To paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote, the reports of the publishing industry’s death are greatly exaggerated. Despite its ups and downs in recent years, the industry’s 10 biggest companies raked in over $40 billion last year.

Educational publishing companies were the biggest money makers, led by Pearson, which made $9.33 billion in revenue. It was followed by Reed Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, and Wolters Kluwer. Random House, ranked fifth overall, was the largest trade publisher last year. This was according to the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly annual ranking released by Publishers Weekly on June 30. The statistics were based on annual revenues in 2013.

Top 10 Publishers

Here are the top 10 publishers in the world, their revenues, mother corporation, and country of mother company. They are part of a list of 56 publishing companies that made it to the annual list.

  1. Pearson, $9.33 billion (Pearson, U.K.)
  2. Reed Elsevier, $7.28 billion (Reed Elsevier, U.K./Netherlands/U.S.
  3. Thomson Reuters, $5.57 billion (Woodbridge Co., Canada)
  4. Wolters Kluwer, $4.92 billion (Wolters Kluwer, Netherlands)
  5. Random House, $3.66 billion (Bertelsmann AG, Germany)
  6. Hachette Livre, $2.85 billion (Lagardere, France)
  7. Holtzbrinck, $2.22 billion (Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, Germany)
  8. Grupo Planeta, $2.16 billion (Grupo Planeta , Spain)
  9. Cengage, N/A (Apax Partners et al, U.S./Canada)
  10. McGraw-Hill Education, $1.99 billion (The McGraw-Hill Cos., U.S.)

To view the entire list published in Publishers Weekly, click here.

“Stars” by Nina Fazzi. Copyright © 2014 by Nina Fazzi. All Rights Reserved.

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