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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Company report, featuring a PESTLE, Porters Five Forces, 5C, MOST, CATWOE and SWOT analysis

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This study of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is part of our coverage of the world’s top 10,000 companies, and is updated and produced on an expedited basis to ensure the most current data is available.

Only Premium members have full access to this study on Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. This includes the SWOT analysis, PESTLE, 5C analysis, CATWOE, Porters Five Forces, MOST analysis and a myriad of additional high value sections.

We identify opportunities for Bloomsbury Publishing Plc to create new products and services, anticipate upcoming market trends, and identify ways to collaborate with other organisations.

Company Description

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a leading independent publisher headquartered in London, UK. Founded in 1986, the company publishes a wide range of books and digital products, including fiction, non-fiction, academic, educational, and children's titles, as well as digital products such as apps and e-books. Bloomsbury serves markets around the world, offering products in languages such as English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Chinese.

Industry Overview

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a major player in the global book publishing industry, which is estimated to be worth over $90 billion USD. This industry employs over 1 million people across the world, with the majority of employees based in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany. Bloomsbury specifically operates within the academic and professional publishing sub-sector, which is estimated to be worth $6.3 billion USD, and employs approximately 200,000 people.

Industry Classification

In terms of formal classification, Platform Executive has tagged Bloomsbury Publishing Plc as a business operating within the Media industry.

Table of Contents

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Intellectual Property

Some of the Patents granted to, or relevant to the organisation include the following:

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: EP3595550
Date: 03/04/2020

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: WO2020018678A1
Date: 09/01/2020

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: GB2568303B
Date: 06/11/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: WO2019204493A1
Date: 05/09/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: US10456471B2
Date: 10/07/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: GB2555380B
Date: 01/04/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: US10114241B2
Date: 06/03/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: US10114242B2
Date: 06/03/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: WO2018203889A1
Date: 22/02/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system
Patent ID: GB2547595B
Date: 17/01/2019

Patent Title: Method and system for providing a digital rights management system

Major Products & Services

The main products and/or services commercialised by this business include the following:

  • Books – including fiction, non-fiction, academic and reference titles
  • eBooks – including digital versions of printed books
  • Online services – including access to digital archives, catalogues and other information
  • Audio – including audiobooks, podcasts and spoken word recordings
  • Journals – including scholarly, academic and professional publications
  • Merchandise – including apparel, accessories and other related products
  • Educational materials – including textbooks, classroom materials and other resources
  • Digital content – including digital magazines, newspapers and other publications

Key Competitors

We have identified the following organisations as being key competitors:

  • Penguin Random House
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Hachette Book Group
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Macmillan Publishers
  • Scholastic Corporation
  • Pan Macmillan
  • Bonnier Publishing
  • Faber & Faber
  • Quercus Publishing
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Key Stakeholders

Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest in a business and/or are affected by its actions.

These stakeholders can have different requirements and expectations from the business, which must be taken into account when making decisions.

By understanding their stakeholders’ requirements, a business can make informed decisions that benefit all involved.

Below is the list of internal and external stakeholders we have identified for this business:

1. Authors: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc works with authors to create and publish books.

2. Readers: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc relies on readers to purchase their books.

3. Publishers: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc works with other publishers to create and distribute their books.

4. Distributors: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc works with distributors to distribute their books to retailers.

5. Retailers: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc relies on retailers to stock their books and make them available to the public.

6. Investors: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc relies on investors to provide the capital needed to fund their operations.

7. Employees: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc relies on its employees to create and market its books.

Value Proposition

A value proposition explains the unique value and/or benefits that an organisation provides to its customers, partners, stakeholders and the overall market. It outlines what makes a company like Bloomsbury Publishing Plc different from its competitors, along with what it can offer that key competitors cannot.

A corporate value proposition can be used with the competitive advantages section of this report in order to better understand Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and its position within the marketplace.

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc provides a range of publishing services to authors, including book publishing, book design, book production, and marketing services.

Competitive Advantages

Competitive advantages are unique attributes, strategies, resources, or capabilities that allow an organisation to outperform its competitors and achieve superior market position and profitability.

Competitive advantages for the business include the following:

Strong Market Presence: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc has a strong presence in the UK, US and India, with a network of over 80 offices in more than 20 countries. This enables them to reach a wide range of readers and customers, ensuring their books are widely available.

Quality Content: Bloomsbury’s content is highly respected in the publishing industry. They are known for publishing quality books from renowned authors, as well as creating their own original content.

International Reach: Through their global presence, Bloomsbury is able to reach customers across the world. This helps them to maximise their sales and take advantage of the global marketplace.

Diverse Product Range: Bloomsbury provides a wide range of books and other media products, from fiction and non-fiction to children’s books, audiobooks and digital content. This allows them to cater to a variety of customers.

Innovative Technologies: Bloomsbury has invested in innovative technologies to ensure a streamlined publishing process. This helps them to stay ahead of the competition and remain at the forefront of the industry.

Customers & Cohorts

As part of this competitive intelligence study, we have identified the main customers of the organisation.

These include the following cohorts:

  • Libraries
  • Retailers
  • Institutions
  • Schools
  • Distributors
  • Booksellers
  • Consumers
  • Academic and Professional Publishers
  • Online Bookstores
  • Book Clubs

Market Trends

Market trends can impact an organisation by influencing consumer behavior, altering supply and demand dynamics, and affecting the organisation's ability to remain competitive in the market.

As part of this study, we have identified a number of potential short-term to medium-term trends that could impact the organisation. These include the following:

Key Market Trends
Increased Digital Consumption: As more readers are consuming content digitally, it is likely that Bloomsbury Publishing Plc will need to invest in digital media and marketing strategies to ensure their books remain competitive in the market. This will require the company to develop new ways of marketing and distributing their content, as well as adapting their technology and pricing models to meet consumer demands.

Globalization of the Market: The globalization of the book market has been growing steadily over the past few years, and Bloomsbury will need to adapt their strategies to ensure they remain competitive. This could involve expanding their presence into new markets, creating localized versions of their books, and developing relationships with international distributors.

Emergence of New Platforms: With the emergence of new platforms such as Amazon and Goodreads, Bloomsbury will need to find ways to make the most of these platforms to reach new customers. This could involve creating targeted campaigns and leveraging the power of user reviews.

Growing Competition from Self-Publishing: Self-publishing is becoming increasingly popular, and this could have an impact on Bloomsbury's sales. The company will need to develop strategies to remain competitive, such as signing more authors to exclusive deals and leveraging their established brand to differentiate themselves from self-published works.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators

Below is a list of KPI's that we have identified as being strategically relevant to this organisation:

Financials (BETA)

The key financials for Bloomsbury Publishing Plc include income statements, which can be found in their annual reports. These financial statements provide information on the organisation's financial performance and health, including revenue, expenses, and profits. This information, along with other indicators are used by investors, analysts and other stakeholders to evaluate the company's performance and future prospects.

Where a financial does not match, we have included those of the parent company (if a listed entity). If the financials are missing please contact us and we will prioritise the update.

Key Financials

Key Personnel

Income Statement

[eod_financials target="BMY.LSE" id="10329343" preset="Income Statement" years="2018-2023"]


Top-level corporate stats and financial highlights for the listed entity, include:

Share Performance

Below is the current (EOD) share performance for the company, or its listed parent:

Potential Products/Services

As part of this study we have attempted to prognosticate potential products and/or services this organisation could develop in the short to medium-term.

Online and mobile applications: Bloomsbury could create an app that allows people to purchase, read, and review books on their phones or tablets. This would make it easier for readers to access Bloomsbury books from wherever they are.

Audiobooks: Bloomsbury could create audio versions of its books, allowing readers to listen to the stories instead of reading them. This would be especially useful for those who don't have the time to sit down and read.

Educational resources: Bloomsbury could create online courses, guides, and other educational resources that would help readers understand books better. This could include providing background information on authors and characters, as well as historical and cultural context.

Merchandise: Bloomsbury could create merchandise related to its books, such as mugs, t-shirts, and bags. This would be a great way to promote the books and generate additional revenue.

Events and tours: Bloomsbury could create events and tours related to its books, such as author readings, book signings, and literary festivals. This would help to engage readers and build a stronger connection with the books.

Potential Synergies

Using our product and portfolio-matching algorithm, we have determined that the following organisations have potential synergies with the company:

1. Penguin Random House
2. Barnes & Noble
3. Amazon
4. Apple
5. Google
6. Microsoft
7. Ingram Content Group
8. Hachette Book Group
9. Simon & Schuster
10. HarperCollins Publishers

Porter's Five Forces

Created by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1979, Porter's Five Forces model is designed to help analyse the particular attractiveness of an industry; evaluate investment options; and better assess the competitive environment.

The five forces are as follows:

  • Competitive rivalry
  • Supplier power
  • Buyer power
  • Threat of substitution
  • Threat of new entries
Porter's 5 forces is a model used to analyse the competitive landscape of an industry. The model takes into account 5 forces that affect the profitability of an industry. The 5 forces are:

1. Threat of new entrants,

2. Bargaining power of buyers,

3. Bargaining power of suppliers,

4. Threat of substitutes, and

5. Competitive rivalry. The model is used to help companies understand the competitive environment they are operating in and make strategies to stay competitive. In relation to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, the company scores MODERATELY in all 5 forces.

1. Threat of new entrants: Bloomsbury Publishing has been in business for over 80 years and has a strong brand name. It would be difficult for new entrants to compete with the company.

2. Bargaining power of buyers: There are many buyers of books, but not many substitutes for books. This gives buyers some bargaining power, but not a lot.

3. Bargaining power of suppliers: Bloomsbury Publishing has many suppliers, which gives it some bargaining power. However, the company is not the only buyer of books, so suppliers have some bargaining power as well.

4. Threat of substitutes: There are many substitutes for books, such as e-books, audio books, and other forms of entertainment. This is a significant threat to the company.

5. Competitive rivalry: There is a lot of competition in the publishing industry. This is a major threat to the company.

PESTLE Analysis

This PESTLE analysis is a strategic planning tool that assesses key external factors affecting the organisation, including the following:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological
  • Legal
  • Environmental

Each of these factors is analysed to determine their impact on the organisations strategy, objectives, and operations.

By utilising a PESTLE analysis, the organisation can make better decisions and develop strategies to address potential risks and opportunities.

PESTLE Analysis

CATWOE Analysis


The CATWOE analysis is used to investigate each stakeholders perspectives in order to enable the business to make informed decisions.

The CATWOE analysis is a problem-solving tool consisting of six elements:

  • Customers
  • Actors
  • Transformation process
  • World view
  • Owners
  • Environmental constraints

We view the CATWOE as being most useful when used in conjunction with other problem-solving tools such as a SWOT analysis.

Customers: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc's customers include booksellers, librarians, readers, authors, and other publishing houses.

Actors: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is composed of a team of editors, marketers, design staff, production staff, and other employees who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.

Transformation process: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is responsible for transforming written content into books, digital products, and other media products. The transformation process includes editing, marketing, designing, and producing the books.

World view: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc views itself as a leader in the publishing industry and strives to produce quality content that will appeal to its customers. They also strive to remain competitive in the industry by staying up to date with the latest technologies and trends.

Owners: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is owned by a private equity firm and its shareholders.

Environmental constraints: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc must comply with legal and regulatory requirements, such as copyright laws and industry standards. They must also consider the impact of technological advances, changes in consumer preferences, and global market trends.

SWOT Analysis

This SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Bloomsbury Publishing Plc business.

When creating this SWOT the team at Platform Executive have taken into consideration the corporate strategy; brand; key financials; the competitive landscape; along with the products and/or services offered.

To offer increased context for future innovation and product development we also consider the historical context for the business and industry; and perceived direction of travel.

Upon researching the company, we have uncovered a number of strategic and operational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

SWOT Analysis


Below is a list of the strengths we have identified for the business:

1. Bloomsbury Publishing has a strong track record of publishing high-quality books across a wide range of genres.

2. The company has a global reach, with operations in the UK, US, and Australia.

3. Bloomsbury has a strong online presence and is a leading publisher in the digital space.

4. The company has a strong financial position, with a solid balance sheet and a strong cash flow.


Below is a list of opportunities we have identified for the business:

1. Expand Bloomsbury’s presence in the digital market by increasing the number of digital products offered. This could include eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital formats. Additionally, Bloomsbury should invest in marketing and advertising to promote their digital products.

2. Increase product diversification by expanding into new markets. Bloomsbury should explore the possibility of creating products tailored to niche audiences, such as children’s books, educational materials, travel guides, and more.

3. Take advantage of the growing demand for digital content. Bloomsbury should invest in new technologies that will make it easier to produce, distribute, and market digital products.

4. Utilize data-driven insights to better understand customer preferences and behaviours. By leveraging data, Bloomsbury can create more personalised and targeted products and services that meet customer needs. Additionally, this data can be used to inform decisions about pricing, promotion, and distribution.


Below is a list of the weaknesses we have identified for the business:

1. Lack of online presence and direct-to-consumer sales: Bloomsbury does not have a strong online presence, and its direct-to-consumer sales are very low.

2. Over-reliance on brick-and-mortar stores: Bloomsbury is heavily reliant on brick-and-mortar stores for its sales.

3. Lack of digital publishing capabilities: Bloomsbury does not have a strong digital publishing capability, which limits its reach.

4. Limited international presence: Bloomsbury has a limited international presence, which limits its growth potential.


Below is a list of the threats we have identified for the business:

1. Increased competition in the publishing industry: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc faces competition from both traditional publishing houses, as well as digital competitors such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. These companies offer lower prices, faster delivery, and better access to customers, which can put Bloomsbury at a competitive disadvantage.

2. Reduced demand for physical books: The demand for physical books has been declining due to the emergence of digital media, such as e-books and audio books. This shift could significantly reduce the demand for Bloomsbury’s books and lead to decreased revenues.

3. Rising costs: Bloomsbury’s costs have increased due to the rising cost of paper, printing, and distribution. This has increased their expenses and reduced their profits.

4. Shifting consumer preferences: Consumer preferences are always changing, and Bloomsbury must remain on top of the trends in order to remain successful. If they fail to stay up to date, they could be left behind by the competition.

5C Analysis

The 5C Analysis is a marketing framework that can be used to provide insight into the key drivers of success, as well as the risk exposure to various environmental factors.
This (concise) 5C analysis examines the external and internal environment for Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. It includes analysing the company's customers, competitors, collaborators, context, and capabilities. We have produced this short analysis to identify potential opportunities and threats to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, as well as areas where the company needs to improve its operations or strategy.
Company: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is an independent publishing house based in London, UK. It specialises in publishing books, journals, magazines, digital content and educational materials across a variety of genres.

Collaborators: Bloomsbury has long-term relationships with authors, agents, distributors, retailers and other publishing houses. It has also forged partnerships with companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft in order to reach a wider audience.

Customers: Bloomsbury’s customer base includes booksellers, libraries, universities, schools, retailers and consumers around the world. It has a particularly strong presence in the UK and the US.

Competitors: Bloomsbury faces competition from other publishing houses such as Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Hachette.

Content: Bloomsbury produces a wide range of content, from fiction and non-fiction books to educational materials and magazines. It has published some of the best-selling books of all time, including the Harry Potter series. It also produces a variety of digital content, including online courses and e-books.
5C Analysis

MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis

The MOST analysis framework is commonly used to identify an organisation's strategic goals, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to achieve its objectives. This analysis helps organisations to focus on what they want to achieve and how to achieve it, while also identifying potential roadblocks or obstacles that may arise along the way.

  • Mission
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics

We have created this analysis from a 3rd person perspective.

Innovation Scorecard

As part of our research and analysis activity, the team at Platform Executive assesses and then benchmarks businesses and the industry verticals in which they operate using a proprietary scoring mechanism.

First, we allocate a score of A-E for the industry vertical, gauged on the key organisations operating within the space; and then score the individual business using a 1-5 score.

A score of D-E within an industry means that it is potentially ripe to be disrupted by a new entrant into the marketplace; and/or vulnerable to technological change.

Likewise, a high score of 4-5 for the company in question indicates that in the view of the analysis team it lags behind notable businesses in terms of innovation and product pipeline.

Innovation Scorecard

Below is a guide to each score:

Industry score:

A The industry is amongst the most innovative; with the leading players all driving the sector forward.
Example industry: PaaS
B The industry and its leading players have a good track record of innovation; and can quickly react to change.
Example industry: Pharmaceutical
C Companies operating within the sector have adequate levels of innovation; and engage in R&D activities when appropriate.
Example industry: FMCG
DBusinesses operating in the industry do not invest enough time and resource into innovation. The sector is stagnant and a good candidate for disruption.
Example industry: Retail Banking
E The major players in the sector seem to lack suitable product development roadmaps; and as a result the sector is highly vulnerable to industry change.
Example industry: Publishing


Company score:

1 The business is amongst the leading players in terms innovation and product pipeline. This will fulfil and reinforce the operations of the business in the medium to long-term.
2 The business has a good track record of innovation, in terms of its products and/or its business model. It is therefore more likely to be able to react and adapt to any changes to the industry.
3 The business is deemed to have an adequate innovation plan, build on research and development and sustainability where appropriate. The business has a product development strategy.
4The business needs to invest more resource and/or intellectual capital in product development, pipelines and/or its business model. The business is at risk of stagnation.
5 The business seems to lack a suitable product development roadmap; and as a result is vulnerable to any notable industry change and/or new entrants in the marketplace.
The team at Platform Executive has judged Bloomsbury Publishing Plc as having an innovation score of D3.


The appendices section of this report contains supplementary information that the team at Platform Executive deems helpful in providing a more comprehensive understanding of the report's contents.

This information is not considered an essential part of the study but serves as a useful supplement to the main text.


This study on Bloomsbury Publishing Plc forms part of our series of competitive intelligence reports, which focuses on 10,000 of the largest corporates.

The information and data included are updated on a timely schedule to ensure that our Premium members receive the most up to date information .

The report is based on information and learning from the following sources:

  • Corporate websites
  • Proprietary research databases
  • SEC Filings
  • Corporate press releases
  • News articles
  • Financial data API's
  • Product-matching algorithm

Further Information

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The facts of this report have been gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources. It is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but cannot be guaranteed. As such Platform Executive can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect.


Premium members: To request a priority update to this report, please contact us. Our standard turnaround time is normally 48 hours.

The changelog for this report can be found below, complete with the next scheduled update:

v1.1: Initial load of report
Date: 1st March 2023

Key Financials added (BETA)
Date: 17th March 2023

Next scheduled update: 25th April 2023

Industry Keywords

Related keywords:
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