The American data and market insights company NPD has acquired Nielsen's US book industry services, effectively splitting the company into two.
US-based BookScan, Pubtrack Digital, PubTrack Higher Education, PubTrack Christian, Books & Consumers, PubEasy and PubNet have all been acquired by NPD, and will become part of a new entity, NPD Book. The news will raise publisher concern about access to global book sales data at a time when the industry remains in transition.
Nielsen will continue to own and operate Nielsen Book outside of the US in nine countries as well as in any new international markets.
Jonathan Stolper, global managing director of Nielsen Book, will become president of NPD Book. All of the US-based commercial Nielsen Book employees have been offered the opportunity to join the NPD Book team.
Nielsen is to continue to provide full operational support for the newly branded US book services during a transition period.
Andre Breedt, currently director of Nielsen Book Research, has become co-m.d of the International arm of Nielsen Book, along with Stephen Long.
Howard Appelbaum, president of Nielsen Entertainment, told The Bookseller that NPD was interested in purchasing the services of Nielsen Book US because it was a “very strong business”, but that it had not officially been up for sale. “It all happened very quickly” he said.
Appelbaum also moved to assure publishers using both the UK and US arms of Nielsen Book that there would be “no diminution in service” following the acquisition. In fact, Nielsen plans to invest in its international book arm and grow the number of territories it operates in, he said. “We have hired a lot of people over the last six to eight months and we hope to continue this,” he said.
NPD tracks and anticipates industry trends and consumer behaviour in over 20 industries, including clothing, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, food, mobile, office supplies and video games.
“Industry expertise is a hallmark of NPD, and we are excited to add services for the book industry. Like many of our industries, publishing is experiencing rapid and dramatic change. By combining data and industry expertise, we will be able to give the industry a winning advantage in understanding and anticipating trends,” said NPD president and chief operating officer Karyn Schoenbart.