This blog is affiliated with a course at the School of Journalism & Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I'll try to use it to share relevant news and information with the class, and anyone else who's interested.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
A new survey from Nielsen suggests that ebooks continue to make gains in book markets. The bad news is that some of that seems to be coming from online sales.
The digital formats (ebooks, audiobooks) increased their share of book sales revenues, while traditional print markets saw their share decline to 70%. The biggest decline was in trade paperbacks, which fell from a third of the market in 2013 to just above a quarter in 2014. In terms of units sold, ebooks increased their share slightly, to 21% of the market for new books.
Online retailers (for both print and ebooks) remained the dominant sales channel, although it's share of sales fell slightly, to 35%. Brick and mortar outlets (bookstore chains, independent bookstores, and other outlets) mostly retained their market shares. The only big decrease in market share was for bookstore chains.
Diffusion of ebook readers continued apace, with smartphone ownership around 75% of adults, and tablet ownership over 40%. The graph to the right reports shows the percentage of ebook readers who indicated that they owned a particular device. Two things are clear from the numbers -- first, that many ebook readers have multiple devices, and second, that market share is variable, and influenced by devices entering and leaving the field. Last year, for example, saw large increases for Android OS devices (smartphones and tablets). Apple's mobile devices remain the most widely owned, while Amazon's various Kindle devices were the other big branded device.