Pearson: FT digital subs overtake print; ebooks hit 17% of global sales

Pearson released its 2012 annual report Monday. The company had worldwide revenues of £6.1 billion (USD $9.2 billion). Some digital highlights:

  • As previously reportedFinancial Times digital subscriptions overtook print subscriptions for the first time in 2012. The FT now has “almost 316,000” digital subscribers, compared to about 286,000 print subs, and “mobile devices now account for 30% of traffic and 15% of new subscriptions.” The company said it expects advertising to remain weak, “with profits reflecting further actions to accelerate the shift from print to digital.” Pearson CEO John Fallon denied rumors that the company is selling off the FT.
  • The Economist isn’t nearly as far along in the digital transition: Total print and digital circulation was 1.67 million, “of which 150,000 customers bought digital-only copies.”
  • At Penguin, ebooks accounted for 17 percent of global book revenues, up from 12 percent in 2011, and “almost 30 percent” in the U.S., compared to 20 percent in 2011. Penguin’s total revenues worldwide were £1.053 billion (USD $1.59 billion), up 1 percent over the previous year. Global app sales were up by 200 percent, but the company didn’t break out app revenues.