eBooks Now Factored into the Cost of Living – But Not eReaders

_66344322_ons_basket_624[1]eBooks went mainstream years ago, and this week the UK government finally realized that fact.

The BBC reported a couple days ago that the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has added ebooks to the data set used to measure the cost of living. This basket of goods consists of over 700 items that the average consumer is expected to buy over the course of the year.

It’s updated on an annual basis to reflect government statisticians’ best guesses as to what best reflects the goods consumers are buying. The annual rejig also shows what British consumers are eating and drinking as well as what they aren’t.

According to the ONS, ebooks “represent a significant and growing market,” the statistics office said. Current best estimates suggest that ebooks accounted for 13% of the UK book market in terms of volume and around 7% in value terms.

Curiously enough, ereaders are not part of the basket (though tablets and smartphones are included). This makes me wonder what exactly the ONS thinks those ebooks are being read on. As of last April somewhere around a market survey firm reported that a third of Brits owned an ereader. As of November tablet penetration was estimated to be around 16% in the UK. If these numbers are anywhere near accurate then ereaders may actually be more common in the UK that tablets.

It’s a pity the ONS didn’t notice.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence Dol14 March, 2013

    Maybe they just consider ereaders to be another form of “tablet”?


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