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“Spanish Markets Digital Evolution” Report 2019: Subscriptions climb to 17 % of total turnover


Frankfurt, 26 March 2019 – the eBook market in Spanish-language regions also recorded exceptionally high growth in the 2018 financial year: The “5th Report 2019. Evolution of the digital market (eBooks and audiobooks) in Spain and Latin America” by Bookwire Spain, in collaboration with, documents growth in turnover of 57 % in total – which is also due to relevant growth in subscription offers.


To draw up the industry report, Bookwire Spain and analysed the annual sales of around 400 Spanish and Latin American publishers for whom Bookwire Spain handles international distribution and sometimes also marketing. The standard work, which is already in its fifth year of publication, is available for any interested reader to download for free (you will find the link to the English report below).


The key findings at a glance:


From 7 % to 17 % - huge growth in turnover for subscription offers


Although Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo etc. are still the most important distribution channels (80 %) for Spanish and Latin American publishers, distribution via subscription channels is playing an increasingly significant role: In 2018, 17 % of publishers’ digital turnover was achieved through subscription offers such as Scribd, Nubico, 24Symbols and Storytel, compared with 7 % in 2017 and just 5 % in 2016.

Total turnover for eBooks: 57 % increase in turnover in 2018


Publishers who are looked after by Bookwire Spain have recorded growth in turnover from eBooks of more than 50 %, for the fifth year in a row. If turnover in 2017 increased by 52 % compared with the previous year, growth in 2018 increased even further: 57 % more in comparison with 2017.


As in previous years, almost 50 % of digital turnover was generated outside of Spain. (2018: 49 %, 2017: 47 %) – Mexico is the most important market (15 %). 20 % was attributed to the other Spanish-speaking countries in South America. The market in the USA grew by 10 %, and Europe contributed 5 % to turnover from digital exports.


Sales figures for eBook licences to libraries also continued to rise to 7 % of total turnover (2017: 5 %; 2016: 2 %). According to information from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, eBook lending in libraries doubled in 2018 – from fewer than 500,000 to a million digital loans.

Price increase in Latin America; lower prices in Spain


Prices for eBooks in Spain fell in 2018 – by 60 Euro cents to an average of € 7.12 (incl. VAT). By contrast, the average price for an eBook sold by a Latin America publisher rose to € 7.07, compared with € 6.92 in 2017.

Listening is the new reading on the Spanish-language market


Audiobooks are booming – turnover of more than five million euro has so far been generated in Spain alone. Back in 2017 experts were already forecasting that turnover on the audiobook market would be between one and three million. Most audiobook publishers currently estimate that final accounts for 2018 in Spain will reveal a total of between three and five million euro.

As on all international markets, everything is pointing to a further increase in turnover with audiobooks by 20 % to 30 % in 2019, which would mean up to seven million euro on the Spanish market.

Subscription portals such as Storytel, Audible and Kobo are still the most important among the business models for audiobooks, followed by individual sales channels like Google Play or iTunes, and streaming platforms like Spotify, Deezer and similar.



“5th Report 2019.  Evolution of the digital market (eBooks and audiobooks) in Spain and Latin America” by Bookwire Spain and, available to download:



Bookwire – Next Level Digital Publishing.

Digital service provider Bookwire was founded in Frankfurt in 2009 as a service provider for publisher distribution of eBooks and digital content. Publishers of any size can take advantage of the professional and independent, complete service, including conversion, supply, marketing and billing and consequently have access to all eBook shops. This service has since also been extended to the digital audiobook sector so that publishers can get all of their solutions from one point of contact. The range of services for currently more than 1,500 publishing clients, with over 300,000 eBooks and 40,000 audiobooks, has been continually expanded into the sphere of marketing and, since October 2016, into print-on-demand products, in order to generate the best sales revenue with the publishers. This also includes customer service with the latest software solutions and a personal contact person to guarantee individual advice and support. Bookwire GmbH is managed by founders Jens Klingelhöfer and John Ruhrmann, as well as Marlies Hebler, and currently employs 50 staff in Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico.


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