Market trends at 31 March 2021

First quarter 2021 witnessed a rather positive trend of the Books market, which grew by 39.6% versus the same period of 2020, strengthening and consolidating the positive performance of the second half of last year.

The buoyancy of the Books market in this first part of 2021 is confirmed even if we look at the January-February period (i.e. excluding sales in March, which were strongly impacted in 2020 by the first lockdown): the growth of the market versus the same two months of 2020 is over 30%.

If, on the other hand, we compare the first three months of this year with the same period of 2019 – unaffected by the pandemic – the increase is 26.1%.

The relevant market performed as follows in first quarter 2021:

  • the advertising market in the first three months fell slightly by -1.4%, almost entirely recovering the overall declined recorded in the first two months: digital +6.4%, thanks to the strong growth recorded in March (+27%), TV +5.9%, newspapers -6.7%, radio -17.0% and magazines -32.2%;
  • the magazines circulation market declined by 6%;
  • the add-on sales market reported a negative 6% (-25% for add-ons bundled with magazines, +5.3% for those with newspapers).

Market's evolution

 Trade books+39.6%+3.3%-3.8%-10.1%-9.6%+5.5%+4.6%+4.0%+0.8%-1.1%-0.4%-0.1%+4.1%+5.4%
  • Circulation**
  • Advertising




  • Add-ons

* As of May 2019, GfK expanded its coverage panel by increasing the survey of e-commerce operators; as a result, the overall market value and the relative yoy differences were re-profiled and the details by channel were revised by merging book chains and e-commerce.

* *Starting from 1H 2016, the % variations refer to the whole circulation market trends (newstands + subscriptions)

Trade book: GFK (value)
Magazine: circulation, internal estimate (value) – advertising, Nielsen (value)