As a digital publishing company Frankfurt-based Bookwire, with offices in Madrid, Mexico City and São Paulo, is better-positioned than some to ride out the coronavirus crisis and emerge intact, and the 2019 review released before the weekend makes clear Bookwire tackles the crisis from a strong baseline.

Strongest growth through 2019, unsurprisingly, came from the audiobook sector, where Bookwire clocked 140% growth with a distribution catalogue of 60,000 titles.

Bookwire’s ebook catalogue rose to 400,000 titles with a 24% increase in sales, while the company’s Print On Demand sector also grew, The combined audio, ebook and print catalogue topped 500,000 titles by end of year.

Streaming of course drove the audiobook sector, with Bookwire clocking 800 million downloads, three times up on 2018, thanks in large part to music-streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Napster.

Describing Bookwire’s audiobook success story, CEO Jens Klingelhöfer said:

The development supports the decision we made years ago to focus more on the audio branch – and, as a first mover, we are now an international leader in the audiobook business. Audiobook production solution We Audiobook You (WAY) and audiobook voice assistant Bookwire Odyssey for smart speakers are just two innovative in-house developments that support our publishers on this market.

On ebooks, Klingelhöfer said,

We also continue to record growth in the ebook area with our full service for publishing clients in our core market, DACH, (Germany, Austria & Switzerland) but primarily also in Brazil and Spain.

Bookwire started the new decade with 1,700 publishing clients – 900 within DACH region, with “Brazil, Latin America and the UK, etc” making up the rest.

Bookwire’s Brazil catalogue grew 28% to 45,000 titles, while Bookwire’s Spain & Latin America catalogue grew 22% to 41,5000 titles.

The list of new clients in 2019 includes Haufe-Lexware GmbH and Universum Film GmbH, Hörbuch Hamburg and HarperCollins Germany for audio, while beyond DACH Bookwire’s European gains included Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. (ebooks), Saga Egmont (ebooks and audiobooks) and HarperCollins France and HarperCollins Italia (audiobooks).

Read the full press release here.