Surprising new information about consumer and student e-book reading habits capped off this year's International Digital Publishing Forum conference at the Javits Center in New York.
Based on two Book Industry Study Group research projects—a 60-question survey of 750 book consumers conducted four times a year and a twice-year survey of 1500 students—the e-book reading statistics were presented Tuesday morning by Steve Paxhia of Beacon Hill Strategies.
Of consumers surveyed in January 2011, 77.3 percent are "satisfied" or "highly satisfied" with the price of e-books, Paxhia said. The feature sets most desired in e-books are affordability (seen by 75 percent of respondents as "very important"), followed by readability, ease of acquisition, portability (all over 70 percent) and speed (over 60 percent). Searchability and eco-friendliness were important to 35 percent of respondents, though the later is growing as a factor.
Among reading devices, consumers are most satisfied with Amazon's Kindle (75 percent) followed by the Nook (70 percent) and iPad (60 percent). "As a reading device, we consider this to be a bifurcated market," Paxhia said. "Many people who buy iPads read on iPads, but people who buy dedicated readers buy them for reading. And the satisfaction that we're seeing among this dedicated reading market is tremendous."
Amazon's market share continues to grow, up from 50 percent of e-books sold in Nov. 2009 to 65 percent today. The Nook is also "doing well," but Apple is not gaining e-book market share at the rate some people predicted, which supports the notion that avid readers are still turning to dedicated reading devices, he said.
The student market shows deep dissatisfaction with textbook prices (only 33 percent of respondents say prices are "reasonable"), and only 30 percent of surveyed faculty require textbooks to be bought for core courses.