The International Publishers Association (IPA) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are launching a new annual report of world publishing statistics. The report will be informed by a questionnaire distributed across WIPO's network of 189 member states and the IPA's 70 members.
IPA President Michiel Kolman said of the report, which will be realised by combining WIPO's infrastructure and statistical knowhow with the IPA's global network of publishers associations, that it was "a really important step" for the IPA and its members.
For several years the IPA had conducted a annual survey among its members, presenting the resulting statistics in the IPA Annual Report each October. The data, focused on new titles, overall market value and revenues, was however of "limited scope" and "extremely labour intensive", according to the IPA, both for its members and the IPA Secretariat.
The forthcoming WIPO-IPA survey will continue to investigate the same fundamentals as the IPA survey, but will increase the number and variety of metrics surveyed to build "an even fuller picture of publishing around the world", the IPA said.
"It's an ambitious and timely undertaking that will meet an important need and bring significant knowledge benefits to publishing industry stakeholders everywhere," commented Kolman, president of the IPA. "Currently, only patchy market data is freely available, but this new joint undertaking will address that shortfall by providing an authoritative annual atlas that can be a vital strategic tool for the publishing industry and related sectors."
In a joint letter informing senior executives of all 70 IPA members of the venture, both Kolman and WIPO director general Francis Gurry said: "To our knowledge, a world publishing report of the scale envisioned by the IPA and WIPO has never been attempted in the public sphere. We hope you agree that such an ambitious undertaking will be of significant benefit to many creative industry stakeholders as, for the first time ever, we realise the vision of an accurate and annually renewed global profile of the publishing sector."
The first WIPO-IPA report is scheduled to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.