The ebook will overtake the paperback and hardback as Britons' preferred format for reading their favourite novels by 2018, according to a report. The UK consumer ebook market – which excludes professional and educational books – is forecast to almost triple from £380m to £1bn over the next four years.
Over the same period, accounting group PwC predicts that sales of printed editions will fall by more than a third to £912m as the UK population's reading habits become dominated by tablets, with 50% of the country expected to own an iPad, Kindle or a similar device by 2018.
That prediction is about as likely to come true as PwC's similar predictions for the US. As you might recall, PwC made a nearly identical forecast last year, saying that US ebook sales would exceed print by 2017. (I debunked that prediction last year.)
In its annual “Entertainment & Media Outlook,” set to be released Wednesday, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) estimates that trade (consumer, not educational or academic) ebooks will drive $8.2 billion in sales by 2017 — surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period.
And PwC made this prediction in 2012 as well. Oh yes, PwC also predicted in 2012 that US ebook sales would exceed print by 2016.
New data from PwC’s media report projects that e-books will make up 50 percent of the U.S. trade book market by 2016.
Do you see where I am going here?
Given the generally flat behavior of the US ebook market this past year, it's pretty clear that neither of PwC's predictions for the US will come true. Sure, I am expecting to see some growth, but not enough to fit with PwC's growth curve. What's more, I am one of the few people expecting to see growth; many are predicting a flat ebook market or possibly even a declining market.
And if PwC is wrong twice in the US ebook market, what are the chances that their identical prediction will come true in the UK market?
I would rate it as not too damn likely.
Admittedly, we don't know how the UK ebook market will grow, but we do know that ebooks are currently estimated to make up a smaller share of that market than ebooks make up in the US book market.
But do you really think that the UK ebook market is going to see 4 years of spectacular growth? That doesn't even pass my BS filters.