PDFs now make up only half of ebook downloads at O’Reilly

Andrew Savikas posted this neat graphic yesterday. It shows a week by week track of downloads, sorted by format. It doesn't show the total number of downloads, only the percentage of the whole.

Most of the downloads were in PDF, Epub, and Kindle (the dark blue is PDF, green is Epub, and the yellow-orange is Kindle). But there is also a small amount of Android APK downloads. Very recently they added Daisy as an option; it's the tiny bit of purple in the upper right corner.

It's an interesting chart. I wonder what caused the big jump in Epub and Kindle downloads in early 2009? The only event I recall from that time was the launch of the K2, and I don't think that would have had such a big effect on Epub downloads.

One other thing. Look at the really big PDF spike. As you move forward from that point, is it just me or does the percentage of Epub downloads seem to be shrinking while the Kindle share grows?

About Nate Hoffelder (11370 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on PDFs now make up only half of ebook downloads at O’Reilly

  1. It’s a confusing chart. At best, Kindle seems to be at a level, but yeah, ePub does seem on a downward trend. Since they sell tech books, I wonder what the K formats are being read on? K for iPad? For desktop? K DXG? Their books are DRM-free, AFAIK, so ePub could go on an iPad easily, I think.

  2. Savikas said in the comments that the spike was because of an “any e-book for $9.99” promotion that drew in a lot of non-regular customers who were probably most familiar with PDF.

    I’ll agree with Mike it’s a bit of a confusing chart. I’m going to guess the Mobi versions are mostly read on Kindle hardware devices—you can’t load your own content into Kindle for iOS. And perhaps by some people who are still using PalmOS devices and other platforms that have MobiPocket Reader apps available, too.

  3. I download everything I purchase in mobi, ePub, and PDF format. I happen to have a Kindle, an iPod Touch, and of course a computer. I mostly read it all on my Kindle but ePub is best on the iPod and PDF on the computer.

    Note that you can purchase O’Reilly books from the Kindle Store, where they are discounted; perhaps that accounts for some of the mobi share in the chart. But though I purchase directly from O’Reilly, I rarely pay list price (or even Kindle Store price) for them since O’Reilly routinely offers 3 for the price of 2 deals as well as daily specials at $9.99-14.99, and I like having multiple formats to choose from (not sure O’Reilly lets you register ebooks you purchase from Amazon to do this).

    Also, it is possible to side-load files mobi files to K4iPhone/iPad, using a desktop application (mac or windows) called iPhone Explorer.

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