Russian Kids Are Adopting eBooks as Fast as US Kids – 48% Now Read eBooks

2560696265_da4ea1fda1_bA new survey report that was released in Russia this week reveals that an impressive 48% of Russian kids between the ages of 7 and 15 had read an ebook.

The survey was conducted in June 2013, and a total of 1477 users of Tvidi.ru were polled by Digital Parenting Russia. I only have the limited (and not quite accurately translated) English results to go from, but I can see that it found that Russian kids were adopting ebooks at nearly the same rate as kids in the US.

The report goes on to show that ereaders were the leading reading device among the survey respondents, and that the older age groups showed a marked higher adoption of ereaders than in the youngest age group.

which-device[1]

The survey report also includes a couple meaningless results. For example, 90% kids reported getting their ebooks for free (downloaded or read online). While that might sound bad it actually means nothing; 100% of people who read ebooks have gotten at least one free ebook at some point. Also, the data point about the 17% of kids who bought an ebook is equally meaningless; the vast majority of kids don't control a credit card or other payment method and thus couldn't have bought anything anyway.

But some of the report was useful. eBooks (or rather digital content in general) were also revealed to be the preferred complement for homework, with 44% of respondents saying that they had "read on a screen of desktop/ tablet / phone". That outranked printing  (40%) and borrowing/using a paper book to complete an assignment (39%).

This news is interesting but it's not unexpected.

Russia has been making a serious effort to overhaul and modernize Russian schools on a national level since at least 2011. That has been one of Putin's policy initiatives for the past 2 years,and it includes both adopting better techniques, new equipment, and new tech. For example, in 2011 the Russian Ministry of Education started a large-scale pilot program. A total of 4 different devices were tested to see which one would be adopted for use in schools. That pilot tested 3 ereaders and a convertible laptop. The growing number of Russian children that read ebooks is a foreseeable result of Russia's modernization efforts.

Also, the latest data suggests that 70% of Russia's reading population had adopted ebooks (as shown in this infographic):

Ebook-Info-Graphic[1]

Nevertheless, it is interesting to see that Russian kids were catching up to American kids (and probably others, but I don't have any survey data to compare). Earlier this year Scholastic released a report that showed 46% of kids in the US are reading ebooks. That was up from 25% of kids who reported the same when this survey was last conducted in 2010.

That report also showed that laptops won out of tablets or ereaders, but only by a narrow margin.

DBW

image by marktristan

About Nate Hoffelder (11582 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."

2 Comments on Russian Kids Are Adopting eBooks as Fast as US Kids – 48% Now Read eBooks

  1. I just want to clarify that ebooks have been mainstream in Russia (and the rest of the Russian speaking countries) long before they became mainstream in the English speaking countries. In the early 2000’s, when the first Kindle and Nooks have been a dream still, there was a huge number of Russians reading ebooks (on their computer monitors). The availability of titles in electronic format was (and still is) amazing, and it’s no surprise that with the introduction of portable reader devices the adoption of ebooks in Russia only increased.

    The catch is that the majority of available ebooks have been (and, as far as I know still are, though I don’t have real data to support my claim) pirated. Before the age of bookstores that sell ebooks, each new published books was scanned, OCR’ed and made available online within days from the publication date, and today, when ebooks are officially released, pirated copies appear even faster.

    The Russian ebook market is very unique and fascinating. Worth following!

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