Marketshare of e-books falls after post-Xmas high

Marketshare of e-books falls after post-Xmas high

The percentage of e-book purchases has dropped back from the high of the post-Christmas period, falling to 2.5% of all book purchases in volume over the four-week period to 20th March.
 
In a presentation at the Westminster Media Forum held today [19th May] in London, BML m.d. Jo Henry revealed some data compiled over the first quarter of 2011.
 
The average price paid for an e-book in Q1 of 2011 (12 weeks to 20th March 2011) was £3.93, around half the average price paid for a hardback, £7.79, over the same period. The average price paid for a paperback was £5.46.
 
Meanwhile, e-book purchases made up 2.5% of the total book market over the four-week period to 20th March 2011, down from about 3% on the four weeks to 20th February, but made up 5.4% of adult fiction (volume) purchases. Also for the four weeks to 20th March, e-books made up 1.6% of total book purchases in value, and 3.8% of the value of adult fiction purchases.
 
In February 2011, 15% of adults surveyed had downloaded a complete, free e-book, compared to 10% who had downloaded a complete, paid-for e-book. Seventy one per cent of respondents who had never downloaded any kind of e-book were aware that you can download a complete, paid-for e-book, compared to 59% who were aware of being able to download a complete, free e-book.
 
In Q1 of 2011, the gender breakdown of e-book and print book buyers was the same, with women representing 51% of both print and e-book buyers, and men representing 49% of each. The 55-64 age bracket represented the highest proportion of e-book buyers, with the demographic accounting for 27% of e-book buyers. Sixty per cent of e-book buyers over the period were in the ABC1 social bracket, the highest status classification.
 
BML's research was compiled using its Books & Consumers ongoing research panel, and "Understanding the Digital Consumer", a private study funded by industry figures.
 
Speaking ahead of the Forum, chairman of the event and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Publishing member Gisela Stuart MP, said publishers now need to face the challenge of adapting business models to the shifting environment brought about by technological changes.
 
She said: "In essence, it's no good trying to row back against technology, the question is how do you make it pay, and the answer is by being an aggregator but also a commentator, an authoritative commentator, of content."