e-Book Trends & Surveys
Several surveys of consumer attitudes towards e-books, e-readers and devices have been released, that revealed trends for the future of digital publishing, helping to support common (sense?) e-predictions.
Respondents who said they prefer to read e-books on e-Readers e.g. Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, only 27% are buying fewer paperback titles, and only 25% are buying fewer hardcovers, despite almost 40% increasing their purchases of e-books.
This suggests that people will continue to buy multiple formats, despite using an e-reading device. 4% of dedicated e-reader users have bought more hardcovers since they started buying e-books and 2% have bought an increasing number of paperbacks. It turns out that content in multiple formats actually increases book purchasing across the board.
Similarly, of all the US e-Reader owners surveyed by New York-based Verso Advertising’s, over 90% said that they would continue to purchase printed books. The majority (70.1%) said they would purchase over six printed books next year and a quarter (25.8%) said they would buy 13 or more print books. The context is that e-Reader early adopters would be keener readers.
Are digital growth predictions too optimistic?
No question, digital is increasing, and publishers need to meet their customers demand. Market researcher Mintel’s report, Books and E-Books, February 2011, notes that judging the true size of the market is difficult because of the scant hard data on e-book sales, yet adds: “Regardless of the paucity of data on the subject, there is little doubt from comments made by publishers and retailers that the e-books market is growing rapidly.” The report then suggests that in the US, e-book sales in 2010 were up by 164%, and now account for almost 10% of the market; and that in the UK, e-books are estimated to account for anything between 1% and 3% of the total market.
E-book readers suggested they should pay less for an e-book than for a hardback, the vast majority is expecting to pay 40%–70% less for an e-book. Just 19% said they expected to pay the same price for the printed equivalent. The report also states that “e-book readers are most likely to buy books online because it is cheaper (49%), suggesting that, as e-books increase their share of the market, there is going to be even more pressure on prices than there is at present.”
Similarly, BISG’s survey finds “affordability” ranks highest in importance for consumers when deciding whether to buy e-books instead of print books, with just over 70% stating that the price of the title being within an “acceptable range” is a key factor. The ease of acquisition of titles is not far behind, however, with just under 70% suggesting that the ease of downloading or streaming an e-book is very important.
Price slips down a few notches in importance when it comes to the devices themselves. BISG found that when it comes to customer satisfaction with devices, portability (just under 80%) and the ability to carry multiple e-books on a single device (just over 70%), are more important than the actual cost of e-books (just over 60%).
Verso has found that customers’ satisfaction with their devices also seems to be leading to some acceptance of higher prices for e-Readers.
See the whole Verso Survey as power-point-presentation http://www.versoadvertising.com/dbwsurvey/