Oxford University Press navigated a challenging academic publishing market during the year. Maintaining strategic investments and digital innovation helped to protect the Press’s long-term presence across its academic markets. The Press published nearly 5,000 scholarly, reference, and higher education titles and there were almost 150 million downloads of its online journal content.
Macroeconomic challenges, legislative initiatives, budgetary issues in key channels―such as the institutional library market―and digital disruption made academia a complex environment in which to operate.
In Higher Education, students are increasingly renting free textbooks and drawing on free resources rather than purchasing. The impact of declining dictionary print sales was exacerbated by the negative eﬀect of ad blockers on advertising revenues online. Budget pressures, shifts in library ordering behaviour, and a drop in ebook demand drove down academic book sales.
More positively, the Press’s journals business, academic publishing in India, and dictionary licensing all achieved signiﬁcant growth. The acquisition of two start-ups―Epigeum and bab.la―coupled with continued development of online services such as Oxford Scholarly Editions Online and Oxford Research Encyclopedias, reﬂect the Press’s focus on speciﬁc areas of opportunity in the academic market.