The second of three surveys on consumer attitudes toward e-book reading sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group found e-book readers using Amazon more than ever to buy e-books, while e-book readers also show indications that they are buying fewer print books as they increase their use of e-books. The success Amazon had selling the Kindle and e-books over the holidays and into the new year is reflected in the survey, with 60% of e-book buyers saying they bought an e-book from Amazon and 35% saying the Kindle is the primary format they use to buy e-books. Both percentages are up from the first survey, which closed in December; the latest survey ran from January 28 to February 5.
BISG’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading: Report Two found encouraging news for players in the e-book field other than Amazon. The use of Barnes & Noble.com as a place to buy e-books also rose in the second survey, and consumers who have an e-reader are generally satisfied with their devices. Forty-eight percent of consumers who read e-books said they are considering buying an e-reader, a figure that jumped from 35% in the first survey. The steady move to using e-readers means that fewer people are reading e-books on computers, and that percentage is certain to drop further from the 46% level it now occupies.
And e-book readers like reading on devices so much they appear to be moving their buying preferences from print books to e-books. Although the recession could certainly have played a part, 43% of e-book readers said they have decreased their purchases of hardcovers, and 42% reported decreasing purchases of paperbacks within the past year. Furthermore, 23% of e-book buyers said they now buy e-books exclusively, up from 19% in the first survey. Since affordability was the top reason consumers said they bought an e-book, the price rise accompanying the move to the agency model could slow the growth of e-book sales. Another potential stumbling block to the growth of the market is the lack of standards. Three of the top five problems consumers reported with e-book readers were related to the inability to share books or content and being forced to buy e-books for use on only one particular device.
For more information on the report, contact BISG at 646-336-7141.