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eBook Use Up 31% in Russia

4144501362_bebbec992d_bEarlier this year Deloitte surveyed 1,600 Russians over the age of 16 and found a marked shift away from physical media consumption and to digital over the past three years.

The survey found that consumption of offline media, including books, tv shows, and listening to the radio fell by 17%, while ebook and online media consumption rose.

An equal percentage of the survey group (44%) read ebooks as read print books. This reflects a 9% decline in print book consumption and a 31% increase in ebook consumption over the past three years, and it is in part influenced by ebook users aging in to the survey group.

eBook users tended to be younger, with 88% of the respondents between 16- and 19-years-old having tried ebooks. This last detail os born out by a 2013 survey showed that 48% of Russian teens read ebooks.

TV and radio use also dropped in Russia since 2012 (5% and 7%, respectively), although the two were still the most used media formats (94% and 61%, respectively). The drop in tv consumption mirrored the increase ebook consumption, with respondents in the 16- to 24-year-old age group showing the steepest decline. The survey also showed that 100% of respondents used the internet, but given that this was an online survey that detail is redundant (and with internet penetration around 60% in Russia, it is also a sign of a probable bias in the survey group).

There’s no available data on when or how many ebooks are being read, but we do know most respondents still got their news via tv more often than the internet. They watched a news story on the tv an average of 4.7 times per week, compared to reading a news story online an average of 4.3 times per week or reading a print magazine or newspaper (3.5 times per week).

If this data is accurate then it means that Russians are adopting, or at least trying, ebooks at a rate higher than Italy, Germany, or even the US.

Alas, the high adoption does not necessarily equate to a large or active ebook market. There have been several past reports that ebook piracy is rampant in Russia. On the other hand, those same reports came from a source which also claimed that 70% of Russians had adopted ebooks, so I’m not sure the numbers are valid so much as they are a reflection of the perceptions of that market. via

image by archer10

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John Hopper January 16, 2016 um 4:11 pm

The text shown in the picture looks like Turkish; it’s certainly not Russian, anyway.

Nate Hoffelder January 16, 2016 um 4:47 pm

Whoops. I did not look as closely as I should have.

jjj January 16, 2016 um 5:08 pm

An online poll is not representative for the entire population when getting an ebook requires a connection (in practice). In Ruassi internet penetration might be at about 60%, so ebook adoption is a lot lower.
Poverty does facilitate both piracy and ebook adoption. ebooks are free since the vast majority are bound to be piratated and that’s not a matter of perception, it’s economic reality.

Nate Hoffelder January 16, 2016 um 6:08 pm

Yep. That’s why I referenced the post I did. I knew that this survey was not representative of the population.

jjj January 16, 2016 um 6:25 pm

Yeah but the diff is far bigger here, 44% is more like 26-28% due to the low internet penetration.

Nate Hoffelder January 16, 2016 um 7:57 pm

You’re right.

I added a mention of the internet penetration, thanks.

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