News & Trends: How to Adapt to the Shifting Market
Gallagher shared a number of statistics, including:
The average age of today’s book reader is 44, but 50 is the average age of the most frequent book buyer.
- 58 percent of readers are women; 42 percent are men.
- Women purchase 65 percent of books.
- 50 percent of Americans ages 13 and older bought a book last year.
- 41 percent of all books purchased are by buyers earning less than $35,000/year.
- $10.08 is the average price paid for a book last year.
- 31 percent of in-store or online purchases are impulse buys.
Gallagher noted that “seniors are leading the way in the digital market.” They are the first group of consumers moving beyond the personal computer for digital content, he said—they are the largest users (by age group) of the Amazon Kindle.
He pointed out that last year, for the first time ever, online became the No. 1 sales channel (with 23 percent of the market), surpassing large-chain bookstores (22 percent).
The key, said Gallagher, is for publishers to watch their consumers closely to know how to reach them. Also, he stressed, “People born before 1966 are our primary consumers. … We’ve got to find a way to grow younger
Gallagher seemed to summarize the message that prevailed throughout the event: “The new model is not going to be the old model, but there are blue skies ahead.”