New statistics on the UK eReader market

New research on UK eReader sales, from the Publishers Association. We already know that 2010 eBook sales accounted for just 0.4% of the UK book market. So what changed at Christmas? The Publishers Association polled 2,000 people recently, and found that 7% of British adults had some kind of eReader (smartphone, iPad or ereader) for Christmas.

The key finding, for those who want to sell long-form fiction eBooks, is that only 61% of those who had a dedicated eReader device (mostly likely a Kindle) have yet actually purchased an eBook.

I’m sure the methodology is sound, and the sample size seems sufficient. But I’d be a little wary if they’re using terms such as “downloaded paid for material” in their survey questions. Many people, especially young men, may confuse that with “downloaded material that should be paid for (but actually I pirated it)”. This may be a factor in the surprising gender skew…

“12% of men have downloaded paid for material since Christmas, compared to only 6% of women”

But the main factor in this skew must be the conflation of ‘readers of news’ and ‘readers of fiction books’. iPhone RSS-based news apps seem to have been classed as “paid for material”, since…

“The iPhone is revealed as playing an important role in the ereading market: 19% of downloaders use one to read digital content, with 13% saying that it is the device they use most often.


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