Download a <br />good book lately?

Download a
good book lately?

With the explosion of E-readers and the downloading of E-book apps for Tablets and Smartphones, the book publishing industry is undergoing a full-edged technology revolution. This begs the question, how are all these technologies impacting consumers.

In a study conducted in May 2012 of US Adults and Tweens (Ages 12 – 15), we asked a range of questions designed to understand the way consumers select what to read and in what format: Digital or Physical? What we have learned is fascinating and we will be following these developments as the technologies continue to mature.


The emergence of the E-book format is changing role of price in book selection. Price was selected as the primary purchase driver by 53% of adults, 7 percentage points higher than the next highest option which was the description on the back/inside cover. Interestingly, Cover Artwork came in 8th out of 13 options for respondents to choose from with only 11% selecting it. Since there is such a large price discrepancy between Hardcover, Softcover and E-books and the shopping experience is so dierent between the physical and electronic products publishers must think dierently when marketing each format.

Not surprisingly, Price is also the biggest factor among Tweens (49%) but the second most important factor diers from the Adults. Tweens are less likely to use their own judgment on what to read and primarily rely on Recommendations from friends/family (47%).

The accessibility of Apps as a way to access E-book content on a device that is not a dedicated E-reader is having a larger than anticipated impact on the market as well. The Amazon Kindle is the 2nd most common device used to read an E-book among both Adults (33%) and Tweens (27%). If the Kindle is #2, then what is the most commonly used device? The Smartphone wins with both Adults (36%) and Tweens (35%). The iPad brings in a respectable third.

While Adults mostly learn about new books from Browsing their local book store (45%), over a quarter of them learn about new books from Amazon’s Recommended list (27%). For Female Adults (the largest reading group), 31% are made aware through Amazon. This has signicant implications for booksellers as both physical and electronic sources play a large role in attracting new purchasers.

Source: Front Porch Research online survey of 615 Rep Adults and 385 US Tweens (12-15). July 19, 2012

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