Subscriptions will help drive digital growth, says FutureBook Survey

Subscriptions will help drive digital growth, says FutureBook Survey

E-books are continuing to provide the strongest growth in digital, according to early results of the FutureBook Digital Census, with a majority of respondents expecting the subscriptions model to become the most viable new model to emerge in the marketplace.

So far more than 1,000 respondents have completed the survey about the digital book industry, with close to 60% indicating that plain vanilla e-books are still leading the transition. In terms of this growth, 9% said subscriptions were now starting to help push sales, ahead of both enhanced e-books and apps.

The survey also found that genre fiction remained the strongest growth area, with a quarter of respondents indicating growth in this area, ahead of non-fiction and literary fiction. However, there were also reports of good growth in the academic/education fields. In terms of which markets are now adopting to digital, the survey pointed to the UK, and US, as the most digitally advanced areas, but also ranked continental Europe in this place. Australia/NZ, Canada, Scandinavia, and India, also scored highly.

When asked what was hindering further growth, customers "wanting free" was highlighted by more than a third of respondents, with discoverability the second concern. Poor marketing, and poor retailer websites, were also mentioned as problems. DRM and piracy were highlighted by less than a fifth of the respondents.

The survey also asked for authors responses, with the satisfaction factor among self-published writers still higher than it was among traditionally published writers despite the majority of the former selling less than 1,000 copies of their work.

FutureBook is continuing to take responses to the survey until Friday 4p.m. The survey is available here, and invites participation from across the publishing sector including all authors, booksellers, publishers, and anyone else with a progressional involvement in the digital publishing business.

The results of the survey will be revealed in full at the FutureBook Conference, taking place this year on 14th November at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster (#FutureBook14). Early Bird pricing ends this Friday 17th October.