Friday, 21st January 2011
Nancy Davis Kho
The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) is slated to release volume one of its two-part study of Consumer Attitudes Towards E-Book Reading this week. According to a blog post by consultant John Parsons, who is working with BISG on the study, some of the emerging trends are 'stunning.' (http://digbig.com/5bdfsx)
Parsons points to the decline of PCs (including desktops, laptops and netbooks) as preferred reading devices in favour of dedicated eReading devices, particularly for trade titles - no big surprise there, as functionality in Kindles, Nooks and Sony Readers expands. The study also finds that, although Barnes & Noble’s Nook holds a relatively small market share (12%)of the dedicated eReader segment, it scores the highest points for customer satisfaction - it's not clear whether the respondents were using Nook or Nook Color, which we reported on here http://www.vivavip.com/go/e31065 .
Another statement that jumped out from Parson's post - 'Tablets and other multi-functional devices like the iPad are also growing in popularity, but not nearly as much as dedicated e-readers. ' Given the price differentials on the devices, that may well be true, but Apple's got no need to worry, what with the rosy reports the company issued Monday regarding iPads shipped during Q4 2010. Not quite obliterated by the news of CEO Steve Jobs' temporary departure due to health reasons was the disclosure that 4.19 million iPad units shipped during the quarter, up from 3.27 million from Q3.
That all seems on target with October 2010 projections from Gartner which showed that media tablets are projected to see 181% growth in the next year alone, and should represent 58% of the entire connected mobile consumer electronics market by 2014 (http://digbig.com/5bdfsy). Still, for the foreseeable future these devices are considered additive or companion devices, used alongside but not yet replacing laptops or smartphones.
Going back to the BISG study, it seems to conclude that the rising tide is finally pushing boats every so slightly upward. While sales of print publications to power users of eReaders does get cannibalised by eBook sales, total acquisition is up for both physical and eBooks, putting pressure on publishers to get the revenue and distribution models right. (The full study is available for purchase at http://www.bowkerinfo.com/pubtrack/BISGConsumerAttitude.html)
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