For your Friday reading pleasure, the latest edition of the Author Earnings Report explores which retailers control how much of the US ebook market.
Where past reports focused solely on the Kindle Store (or offered a similar single-store snapshot of a competing store), the October report offers a cross-sectional view of the US ebook market.
It’s the first new look at the market that I have seen in (I think) over a year, and it does not paint a heart-warming picture for those who hate Amazon. The report finds that Amazon can lay claim to 74% of the units sold in the US ebook market, and 71% of the dollars spent.
Something like 99% of consumer ebook sales are made through just five major ebook retailers. Amazon accounts for the majority of those sales, with iBooks coming in second with about 10% to 12% of sales.
Barnes & Noble has somehow managed to hold on to third place, with roughly 7% to 8%, followed by Kobo with 3% to 4% of sales. And rounding out the top five is Google Play Books, with 1% to 2% of the US ebook market.
The report goes on to analyze the smaller ebookstores in terms of units sold and revenue earned. The estimates are generated based on the same methods used for the Kindle Store (the best seller lists) and they lead to some surprising conclusions.
For example, Apple’s ebookstore is dominated by the Big Five. iBooks leans heavily towards the B5 both in terms of units sold and dollars spent. Indies make up 23% of units sold, but only 9% of revenue. The Big Five, on the other hand, account for 58% of units sold and 74% of revenue.
With 54% of units sold and 69% of dollars spent going to the Big Five, the Nook Store was almost as bad as iBooks.
Kobo (not shown here) displayed a similar prevalence for Big Five sales, but Google Play did not.
The report concludes with a look at the overall ebook market, which still leans heavily towards the Big Five. You can find that data, as well as an analysis of the Kindle Store, over on the Author Earnings Report website.