Digital sales 'worth 25% of market by 2015'

<p>Between 15% and 20% of the book reading public will own electronic devices and up to 25% of books will be sold in digital form by 2015, according to a new French study.<br /><br />The study showed that multimedia tablets such as iPad should account for between two-thirds and three-quarters of total sales and ereaders such as Kindle the remaining third to a quarter.<br /><br />The study was conducted among 3,000 people in six countries&mdash;France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States and carried out by management consultants Bain &amp; Company. The findings were revealed at the weekend during the third cultural forum in Avignon.<br /><br />The switch to digital will be more rapid in Korea and the United States, where ebooks now represent about 5% of the market, and will be slower in countries like France, where the network of different types of retailers selling physical books remains extensive, said the report&rsquo;s authors, Patrick B&eacute;har and Laurent Colombani.<br /><br />They are cautiously optimistic about the book industry&rsquo;s future. &quot;Books should not suffer from the same catastrophic scenario that the music industry did,&quot; they said. Apart from helping revive interest in reading - more than 40% of device owners say they read more than before - the shift to electronic is occurring through online sales for books, whereas it occurred through piracy for music. Electronic and print should continue to coexist for some time, as 41% of respondents said they remained attached to paper.<br /><br />The electronic sector could represent between 20% and 28% of book industry profits in the future, the report said. But the industry will not benefit financially unless it innovates in its operating methods and content. &quot;Experimenting with new formats - non-linear, hybrid, interactive or social - is where opportunity lies,&quot; it concluded. </p>