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UK Book Buyers Switching to Digital & Spending Less

Bowker released some results of a survey earlier today, and the data raised some questions about the growth of the UK ebook market. The key takeaways are:

  • Book buyers spent 6% less on paper books in 2011 than they did in 2010
  • Ebook buyers spent 3% less in 2011 than they did in 2010
  • The number of paper books dropped by 4%, while the number of ebooks purchased increased by 0.3%
  • Kids & senior citizens are buying¬† more ebooks while the ages in between are buying less
  • Ebooks went from 2.8% of purchases in December 2010 to 12.5% in November 2011
  • Average price paid for ebooks increased (see chart at right)

What’s really interesting about the data is that I was under the impression that the UK ebook market grew last¬† year by some noticeable amount. But if you look at the numbers above, it shrank. Consumers are reporting that they spent less. They’re buying a very slightly larger number of ebooks than before, but they’re spending less.

I’m going to hold out for more data before I jump to any conclusions. Bowker plans to release the rest of the results at their conference in London in March, and once that data is in hand then I will try to figure it out.


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willem February 15, 2012 um 3:00 am

Here’s another interesting study, this time about the US market – 'eReader Sales Outstripping eBook Unit Sales Growth'.

Always remember the old rule of gigo (garbage in garbage out) in such studies. Stats for self publishers are missing in action & all I’ve seen are guesses, though has got some interesting charts for the months of 2011, suggesting selfpublishing could be almost one-third of ebook market unit sales.

Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity loves flying saucer sandwiches! February 17, 2012 um 8:19 pm

[…] Apparently UK book buyers are switching to ebooks, and spending less overall on books. […]

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