When the e-reader tablet wars heat up this holiday season, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other companies will be selling their wares to a consumer market that is growing increasingly comfortable with digital reading. According to BISG’s final report in volume two of its “Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading” survey, consumer satisfaction with e-reading devices is generally high, with 75% of device owners pleased with their e-readers. The new family of devices, which includes lower-priced text-only e-readers, will also address one of the main issues consumers voiced about digital devices—the high price. And while price was a concern for some consumers, BISG reported that the most common response to the question about what impediments keep readers from reading more e-books was “nothing.”
Amazon is heading into the holiday period with a clear lead in offering the preferred device for reading e-books and also as the top place to buy e-books, although B&N gained some ground when it introduced the NookColor earlier this year. The NookColor boosted the Nook’s overall share among e-reader buyers from 10% in January to over 15% in May and a bit higher in August. During that period, the Kindle’s popularity increased as the device 40% of readers used most often to read e-books, to just under 50%. The iPad’s popularity rebounded in August after falling slightly in the May survey, but was still the favorite e-reading device for under 10% of respondents.
In August, Amazon continued to hold a roughly 40 percentage point lead as the largest source for e-book purchases over second place BN.com. In August, libraries supplanted the combination of the iBookstore and iTunes as the third most popular place to get an e-book, with almost 10% of respondents using the library for their e-book needs.
The new survey also indicated that the “windowing” issue, which appeared to have been settled last year, could have some legs. Half of respondents in the August survey said they would be willing to wait three months after publication of a print book to acquire an e-book, compared to 38% one year ago.
For more information on “Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading,” go to bisg.org.