If 2011 was the year of the e‑reader, then 2012 may well be the year of the e‑book. Consumers have the option to download books directly to their Kindles, or competing devices. They can also read the latest best-seller on their iPads or their mobile phones. This disruption in the traditional book publishing industry has many established businesses rapidly expanding their e‑book offerings. And research shops see a bright future for this sector.
Yankee Group’s new report “2011 E‑Book Forecast: Get Set for the Next Best-Seller,” predicts that consumers will download more e‑books than paid mobile apps during the next couple years. Specifically, analysts say that consumers will download over 381 million e‑books in 2013, a level that marks a four-fold increase over last year. And spending on content in this market will jump to $2.7 billion that same year. Consumers of all ages are interested in e‑books but unique preferences by age group are becoming obvious. For example,
- 25% of college students are interested in e‑books in order to avoid dragging around heavy textbooks
- 22% of adults over age 65 appreciate scalable fonts and text-to-speech conversion in e‑readers
And while consumer interest in e‑books is high, analysts predict the average price will drop from $9 to $7 by 2012.
Dmitriy Molchanov, analyst at Yankee Group and author of the report notes that, “[t]he ecosystem is maturing fast—device makers and others who don’t make their move now will miss out on a multi-billion-dollar market.” This kind of competition means that content and device providers are likely to continue to advertise to protect or improve market share.[Source: Yankee Group Says U.S. E‑Book Downloads Will Outpace Paid Mobile App Downloads Through 2013. Yankee Group. 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2012]