Companies in this industry publish newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, books, directories, and mailing lists, as well as other items such as calendars, greeting cards, and maps. Major US-based companies include Gannett, Hallmark, McGraw-Hill Education, and The Washington Post Company, along with the publishing operations of diversified media companies News Corp and Time Warner. Other leading companies include Axel Springer (based in Germany), Bonnier (Sweden), Lagardère (France), and Pearson and Reed Elsevier (both in the UK).
Demand for books, magazines, and greeting cards is driven by consumer income, while demand for newspapers and directories is related to local population growth and local ad spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on marketing expertise, efficient operations, and new customers. Large companies benefit from the ability to share resources across multiple content outlets. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in niche topics and markets.
Major products include textbooks, adult trade books, professional books, children's books, and reference books; daily, weekly, monthly, and Sunday newspapers; weekly and monthly general interest magazines and industry trade publications; e-books, digital magazines, and online newspapers; printed directories and mailing lists; and calendars, greeting cards, and maps. In the US, magazines and periodicals account for about 35 percent of revenue; newspapers account for about 30 percent; and books, directories and mailing lists, and other items account for the remainder.