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eBook Sales Dipped in Germany in the Third Quarter

8801652469_f925fd1cae_hA recent market survey has revealed German consumers are (momentarily) buying fewer ebooks.

Boersenblatt reports that consumer ebook purchases declined slightly in the third quarter 2015, to 4.6% from 4.7% in the same quarter last year. Consumer ebook purchases were still up for the year, and accounted for 5.3% (up from 4.8% from the first three quarters of 2014). Fiction of course made up the largest share of purchases (86%, up from 83%), followed by non-fiction (5%), kids/YA (4%, down from 6%), and travel 4%, down from 5%).

An estimated 3.3 million Germans, or 4.9% of the population aged ten and above, bought an ebook at some point in 2015. We do not, whoever, know who they bought the ebooks from.

While we have data which shows that the German ebook market continues to grow, one key detail has been missing from the more recent reports: market share.

The hottest topic in digital publishing is whether Amazon dominates any given market, but curiously no one in Germany wants to answer that question in public. I know that many people are saying that the German ebook consortium Tolino has a 45% share to Amazon’s 39%, but what they’re hoping that you don’t notice is that the data comes from a survey report released last November.

Seriously, the market stats are a year old.

Furthermore, Tolino won’t say whether the figures are still accurate. I asked when I noticed this discrepancy a few weeks ago, and I was told that the market stats belong to GfK, and that Tolino wasn’t authorized to share them.

That is an awfully convenient answer, isn’t it?

Does anyone else wonder what Tolino is hiding, and why?

image by mattcornock

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