US eBook Market to Eclipse Paper Book Sales By 2017, and Other Nonsense

US eBook Market to Eclipse Paper Book Sales By 2017, and Other Nonsense DeBunking The tea leaf readers at PricewaterhouseCoopers are back aging this week with more predictions for the future of the ebook market.

According to their latest peyote-inspired predictions, the ebook sales in the US book market will eclipse paper book sales by 2017:

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.

I found out about this prediction via paidContent (they got an early look at the data), and I can't help but roll my eyes at the idea that anyone is taking it seriously.

The thing about this prediction is that PwC said almost the exact same thing last year. Here's how paidContent put it:

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.

This was confirmed in other reports, in case you were wondering.

I don't know about you, but if PwC is going to repeat the same 4 year projection for a second year in a row then I am going to tend to think they're full of it.Whatever model they are using to make those predictions is clearly inaccurate and cannot be trusted.

And that's not even the only serious discrepancy about their data; their short term predictions were off by a ridiculous amount. Last June PwC said that their projection for the 2012 US consumer ebook market would hit $4.3 billion. Yesterday PwC said that same market only hit $3.3 billion in 2012.

Their short term projection missed by a billion dollars. That is a 29% difference between the prediction and the reality. While that might not be much of a difference to a govt accountant or an analyst out here in the real world it is ridiculously huge.

Seriously, how can anyone talk about these projections and keep a straight face?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. 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.

5 Comments

  1. Good for Nothing5 June, 2013

    LOL, just because someone’s prediction failed doesn’t mean your prediction is any better.
    At a certain point the balance will shift.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 June, 2013

      Where did I make a prediction? All i did was note that the model failed.

      Reply
  2. […] die Prognose auch nicht unbedingt in Schwarze treffen könnte, meint auch The Digital Reader. Kollege Nate weist richtigerweise darauf hin, dass die ursprünglichen Prognosen für 2012 schon […]

    Reply
  3. […] the print market in 4 years. In 2012 PwC said that ebooks  would pass print in 2016, and in 2013 the goalpost was moved to 2017. And now PwC has moved the goalpost yet again, this time predicting that ebook sales would exceed […]

    Reply
  4. […] for three years running by declaring that ebook sales would exceed print sales in 2016, er 2017, er 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers is now claiming that the book publishing industry revenues will […]

    Reply

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