Pottermore publishes financial results for 12 months to 31 March 2016
Financial results for 2015/16 show strong sales growth in digital publishing
2016/17 set for return to profitability, boosted by digital audiobooks and Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts eBooks
22 November 2016
London, England - Pottermore, the digital content company for author J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, today published its latest financial results, covering the period for the 12 months to 31 March 2016.
In the period, revenue more than doubled to £15.1m (year to 31 March 2015: £7.0m), following a significant increase in sales of eBooks and digital audiobooks. This reflects the introduction of a new strategy in 2015, which saw Pottermore make its content available globally through online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo.
The company recorded a pre-tax loss of £4.9m (year to 31 March 2015: pre-tax loss of £6.0m) as it continued to invest retained profits accumulated in prior years in the business in line with the strategic plan. Investments included the repositioning and rebuild of fan site pottermore.com, the redevelopment of Pottermore’s e-commerce offering, and new product development initiatives, such as new editions of the original Harry Potter titles and the Pottermore Presents series of eBook shorts.
“The shift in Pottermore’s commercial business strategy – working more closely with key business partners - that we began executing in the second half of 2015 has paid off,” said Susan L. Jurevics, Chief Executive Officer, Pottermore. “The new strategic plan is not only driving increased revenue but is also putting us on the path to profitability for our financial year ending in March 2017.”
The current financial year, which covers the year to 31 March 2017, will be further boosted by new digital content, including the script eBook of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which was published by Pottermore in July and became an immediate best-seller. In September, Pottermore unveiled a series of eBook shorts called Pottermore Presents, which feature themed collections of writing from the Pottermore archives. On 18 November 2016, Pottermore published the screenplay for the widely anticipated Warner Bros. Pictures’ feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling.
Against the backdrop of sustained, global appetite for content from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, pottermore.com has grown in popularity as a digital destination. One of the site’s most recent initiatives, the September launch of J.K. Rowling’s Patronus experience, drew three million registered users in the first three days. The Patronus experience was named October site of the month by Awwwards, an organisation that recognises excellence in web design and development.
“Working with our franchise partners, we continue to look at opportunities to further innovate and extend the reach of our digital channels, in order to broaden and deepen engagement with our world-wide fan base,” said Jurevics.
All of these factors will contribute to a further increase in revenues for 2016/17 and will help the company return to profitability. Given the strong pipeline of new content – a further four films in the Fantastic Beasts series were announced in October 2016 – the longer-term prospects for the company remain robust.
Notes to editors
1. Pottermore is the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company of J.K. Rowling. It has three areas of focus: digital publishing, e- commerce and pottermore.com. It is the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. This includes the original Harry Potter series in both eBook and digital audiobook form as well as enhanced editions for Apple devices via iBooks. It also includes eBook versions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script, and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, as well as other content such as the three Hogwarts Library eBooks and the Pottermore Presents ... series of eBook shorts. The physical book rights to these are not owned by Pottermore.
2. As the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, pottermore.com is dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination. It offers news, features, and articles, as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J.K. Rowling.
3. One of the most famous magical elements in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is the Patronus. The Patronus Charm is a defensive spell which produces an ethereal guardian or protector, taking the form of an animal. Pottermore's Patronus experience is set in a 3D animated environment that suggests danger and features originally-scored music and a responsive soundscape. By summoning a single happy memory and then responding to a series of short, time-sensitive multiple-choice options on screen, users are able to discover and ultimately be presented with their Patronus – which has been chosen for them using J.K. Rowling’s own secret algorithm. Patronuses are drawn from animals both familiar and magical, although magical beasts are amongst the rarest Patronuses. The user’s Patronus then becomes a part of his or her wizarding profile on pottermore.com.
4. 2017 will be the twentieth anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK and Commonwealth and the fifth anniversary of pottermore.com.
5. Rights relating to J.K. Rowling’s non-Wizarding World titles - The Casual Vacancy and novels published under the Robert Galbraith moniker – are not part of the Pottermore stable.
Pottermore, the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company from J.K. Rowling, is the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. As the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, pottermore.com is dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination. It offers news, features, and articles as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J.K. Rowling.
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