US publisher Simon and Schuster gives early glimpse of digital impact

Top six US publisher Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS, broke out its digital numbers from its first quarter results to show an impressive year-on-year growth of 233% to US$12 million, up from just US$3.6M in Q1 2009 .  The figure includes ebooks, audio downloads and standalone apps.

While these numbers are still small by US standards, what’s especially interesting is that digital now represents 7.9% of S&S revenue. With growth rates like this, even off a small base, it’s easy to see how digital will rapidly become a significant revenue stream.

The S&S results are consistent with a recent prediction by Penguin Group CEO John Makinson who  said he expected Penguin’s digital revenues to hit 10% of sales next year, up from 4% this year.

But, notes this report from Paid Content, “The increasing opportunities in the digital marketplace should push the revenues and the percentage up in coming quarters but will it be replacement or additive? This time the higher contribution from digital helped offset a 6 percent revenue drop to $151.7 million from $161.7 million.”