News & Trends: eBooks ... By the Numbers
Consumers and E-books
No Current Shift From Print to Digital
According to Simba Information's "Trade E-Book Publishing 2010" report, drawing data from a nationally representative survey, an estimated 9 percent of the U.S. adult population bought at least one e-book in 2009 (compared to an estimated 8 percent in 2008).
"You can read this two ways," says Michael Norris, senior analyst with Simba. "On one hand, about 91 percent of the U.S. adult population shrugged off e-books in 2009, but on the other hand, about 6,000 new people per day entered the e-book market in 2009."
"A big however," he notes, "I haven't seen a comparable loss of consumers on the print side, which has also seen a big rise in consumers between 2008 and 2009. So I think any generic narrative that says 'a shift away from print and toward digital' may be premature. They both are growing, and both can grow as long as the quality of the content remains high."
The Trade Market
Year-to-Date E-book Sales Up 292 Percent
According to the most recent e-book sales* statistics released from the Association of American Publishers, which collects statistics in conjunction with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), trade e-book sales were $28.9 million for the month of February, a 339.3- percent increase over February 2009 ($6.6 million). Year-to-date sales are up 292.2 percent. The IDPF noted in an announcement about the new sales figures, "[A] new [sales-revenue] barrier has been breached. The first two months (January and February) of Q1 2010 already total $60.8 million vs. Q4 2009, which was previously [the] highest quarter at $55.9 million."
*Note: The study represents U.S. sales of books delivered electronically over the Internet or to hand-held reading devices via wholesale channels by 12 to 15 trade publishers. It does not include library, educational or professional electronic sales.