Tablets Poised for Huge Adoption, According to Media Research
Based on evidence gleaned from current trends, smart phones will be ubiquitous, tablets will see a huge adoption rate, and e-readers will generate relatively low sales but enjoy a loyal customer base, Bill Trippe, a consultant with media research firm Gilbane Group, recently told a room full of publishing industry stakeholders in New York City.
Predictions about the future of device usage—how they will be adopted, the content fit across platforms and the path to monetization for publishers—were the major themes covered by Trippe during a presentation at the recent "Magazines: From Dimensional to Digital Conference," presented by the Magazine Publishers of America.
Gilbane's research breaks down the device market into three types: e-readers like the Kindle, smart phones and tablet devices like the iPad. "These devices have different forms, different functions, and the market is really shaking out appropriately," Trippe said. The Kindle, for instance, has done extremely well in the trade-book space, while early speculation about the device taking off in the educational book and magazine segment proved unfounded.
"Trade book publishers are very bullish on the Kindle. ... They're seeing real revenue from this now," he said. "Will a device like the iPad have the same impact on other types of publishing? We still don't know." Early indications are positive, however: Trippe noted that publishers like Time Inc. are already proving iPad editions can generate revenue and be successfully integrated into a regular workflow.
A key question is whether Kindle use is "transient," destined to be supplanted by tablet devices like the iPad, Trippe said. Data on Kindle use up to this point suggests users tend to be older and frequent consumers of books, who appreciate the savings in their yearly book-buying budget, and that the longer people own the devices, the more dedicated they are to them.