Is the Canadian eBook Market Leveling Off?
PW reported last Friday that BookNet, Canada’s leading book industry market research firm, had stopped surveying consumers on their ebook purchases:
BookNet’s Noah Genner says that BookNet has “paused” its consumer panel survey research on e-reading because the growth in digital books seems to have paused. “The numbers we’re hearing for e-book unit sales is still around 17%, 18%, 20%, that kind of range,” he says, noting that the rates vary considerably depending on genre. “We know for the genre categories inside fiction, some of [the rates of e-reading] are quite high.”
I personally have trouble believing that Canada has unique market conditions that would preclude further growth, not when the UK saw a 20% growth rate in 2013. On the other hand, it is worth noting that with 20% of consumers' book funds spent on ebooks, the Canadian ebook market is more mature than the UK market, where ebooks still made up less than 5% of sales in 2013.
What’s more, Booknet Canada has reported unusual market trends in the past, including extreme seasonal fluctuations. And what with Agency pricing still in effect in Canada, it’s entirely possible that the rigid price controls are depressing the market.
Perhaps Canada really is a special case. What do you think?
image by archer10 (Dennis)