The Digital Consumer Book Barometer, a new report from Austrian publishing consultant Ruediger Wischenbart, which debuted during the Readmagine conference in Madrid earlier this month, looks at recent sales trends for digital books and downloadable audiobooks sales across a variety of international markets, including Brazil, Italy, the German-speaking countries, and Latin America.
The data revealed a handful of consistencies, including a rise in the availability and use of streaming and subscriptions services in most of the aforementioned markets, as well as increased library use by patrons to download e-books and audiobooks. Improved digital marketing by publishers which targets precise customers is also helping bolster sales.
In German-speaking countries, for example, the report found a spike in audiobook sales and subscriptions in 2020, which was followed by a slight decline in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, though sales levels in the quarter were still significantly higher than those of the pre-pandemic period. A similar trend could be seen in Italy, as well as Brazil, Spain, and Latin America.
Wischenbart noted that the interest in digital publications has also expanded the type of books being consumed, moving beyond the traditionally popular categories of e-books such as romance and mysteries. “Children's books and young adult titles found new audiences,” wrote Wischenbart. “As did other genre categories, such as certain types of nonfiction, such as self-help, self-improvement, spirituality.” He also credits publishers with more precise and targeted digital marketing, which in turn helping to boost digital sales.
The report is available for download at www.wischenbart.com/barometer.