Audiovisual and publishing, the two industries reinforce each other. Here’s what happens to the book when the tv series is on air.
The tv shows make the purchases of the novels on which they are based increase. It is clear thanks to the survey «Television serialization, reading and buying books», carried out by IE-Informazioni Editoriali and by AIE (Associazione Italiana Editori, the Italian Association of Publishers). Eight book titles were examined in their sale performances over ten years, from 2009 to 2019, in bookstores and online stores (excluding Amazon). These are Gomorrah and Game of Thrones for Sky, The Man in the High Castle for Amazon Prime Video, Inspector Montalbano, My Brilliant Friend and The Name of the Rose for Rai, Suburra: Blood on Rome and 13 Reasons Why for Netflix.
All these books showed an increase in sales in the various trade channels during the period of the broadcasting of the audiovisual version, on television or through a streaming platform. The case of The Name of the Rose is emblematic: considered 100 as a base value, sales of the best seller by Umberto Eco were at 40.62 in the last two months of 2018 and then jumped to 100 along with the TV programming on Rai 1 channel, even overtaking the previous peak that was reached in 2016 at the death of the author. As the AIE report explains, once the TV series is over, their effect does not disappear: even in the following months, in fact, sales remain constant at the same high levels of the broadcast period. Gomorrah, for instance, goes from 12.81 to 11.69 with the first season and from 17.77 to 11.47 with the second, always using 100 as standard.
How people follow their favourite stories? Italians between the ages of 15 and 75 declare that they are using more and more different “doors” to enter the worlds and narrative universes. In 2018, unencrypted TV channels (79%), books (58%) and authorial social media (51%) remain at the top. Cinema theatres are also holding up well (46%), although the pay TV series (43%, more than six percentage points more than in 2017) recorded the highest growth, especially with young people.
Furthermore, the study of the AIE reveals that tv series fans tend to read more. Only 32% of the people who follow tv shows, in fact, describe himself as “not a book reader”, considerably below the national average of 43%. It is also underlined their greater propensity to multimedia approach: 31.6% only read paper books, while on average 35% of the population does so and 4.3% buys only e-books (national average: 3%).