Tag Archives: markets

Globally, ebook markets to continue steady growth during the next few years

2016-10-22

In North America, where Amazon kicked off the modern ebook business in 2007, some book industry experts today are lamenting the recent decline of ebook revenues. Ebook markets outside the US, however, have a different situation and possibly also outlook for the future. PWC, a consultancy, forecasts that globally ebook sales continue to grow steadily, whereas print book revenues continue their gradual fall. PWC’s forecast is projected until 2020.

pwc, book publishing forecast 2020Annual growth rate for ebooks 10.4% and for print books -0.4% until 2020 according to PWC.
In regions like Europe, Asia and the Pacific, the adoption of ebooks have been a lot slower than in the US. For instance, in many European countries the market share of ebooks from the total book market is at 1 – 5% level. There is room for growth. Plenty of it. Sales channels are still being established (for instance, grocery store Aldi in Germany and subscription service Storytel in Scandinavia), tax laws are being amended (in order to treat ebooks equally with print books), self-publishing services are being set up, and people are realizing that large screen smartphones are reading devices.

Do you remember when the Internet bubble burst in 2001? It had been a wild run since the IPO of Netscape in 1995. For some pundits, 2001 was the end of the Internet business and tech business. Well, what happened? Today, they are shaping our world in all fields of life: transportation, entertainment, shopping, working, relationships, you name it.

The fact is that the world is taking its first baby steps in the new era of digital media that today also features electronic books. Today’s ebooks are more or less direct conversions of print books into electronic format – sometimes not even conversions if an ebook is delivered as an PDF file. Multimedia and augmented reality are some of the technologies that may get smartphone-generations to read commercial ebooks just like they read fan fiction, messages or watch online videos. Books will develop with technology, but the concept of book is so strong that it will remain.

So, yes, PWC’s cautious forecast for global annual ebook revenue growth of 10.4% is way more likely to happen than the decline of revenues in the US would turn into a long term trend.

pwc book publishing market forecast

Global Book Sales to Increase during the Next Few Years

2015-06-22

Worldwide sales of books is growing until 2019, at least. That’s the number one conclusion from the report Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019 by PWC that quantifies the whole global book industry. Number two conclusion is that the engine of growth is ebooks because the sales of print books is declining. The third point is that tablets are an important driver for ebook adoption.

PWC is a global consultancy whose report may be purchased directly from the company web site. We have extracted some highlights from the report.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, all books revenue

The whole global book industry (consumer books, educational, professional and science books) is expected to reach USD 128 billion in sales by 2019. In 2014, sales was USD 120 billion. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 1.3 % in 2015-2019. For a business that’s hundreds of years old, and going through its biggest disruption since the invention of printing press, growth rate like 1.3 % is simply remarkable.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, consumer books revenue

The report anticipates that the sales of consumer books will grow 0.8% (CAGR) by 2019. Towards the end of the period, ebook sales is expected to ramp up. The reason why consumer book sales is growing slower than the whole market is that educational books are growing faster than the market.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, educational books revenue

The sales of educational books are expected to grow 2.0% (CAGR) globally, and professional books 1.6%. Strong growth for educational books is driven by two factors: ebooks are being widely adopted, and print books continue to sell well.

pwc: media outlook 2015-2019, tablets drive ebook adoption

PWC consultants have made an interesting conclusion on the reasons that are driving ebook sales. Their conclusion is that ebooks will be adopted in those countries where tablet penetration rate is 50% or higher. The popularity of ebooks in the US, UK, Canada, Singapore and South Korea prove the point, because tablet penetration is high in these countries. PWC expects that ebook market share will reach 40% by 2019, accelerating book industry growth in these countries.

Digital Book Revenues Accounted for 35% of the UK Publishing Market in 2014

2015-05-12

The UK Publishers Association has tallied up the numbers for the book market in the United Kingdom in 2014, and the results are pleasant reading for ebook publishers, but not so for print book publishers. Revenues from digital products accounted for 35% of the total market in the UK in 2014. The total market was GBP 4.3 billion, down 2% from previous year. The rapid growth in sales of ebooks couldn’t compensate the decline of printed books in the UK.

Highlights from the Publishers Association report:

– Fiction is still the hottest ebook category with sales increasing to 37% of total ebook market value.
– Children’s books (up 36%) – with the sector up 11% overall.
– Academic textbooks (up 17%) now at 24% of sector sales.
– Audiobook downloads up 24% from previous year.
– Educational materials for schools up 20%.

Apple iPad, ebook, eyeglasses, books,

We have been closely following the ebook market for five years (Klaava Media is a non-fiction ebook publisher), and it still hasn’t stopped surprising us. A year ago, growth in the U.S., the ebook market leader showed first signs of slowing down. Early 2015 proved it to be worse than that, because ebook revenues decreased for the first time since 2007.

In other parts of the world, however, it is completely different situation. In many countries, annual ebook growth numbers are huge, because digital market share from total book market can be anywhere from 1 to 10%. Countries, such as Germany, Netherlands and France are now experiencing high growth rates because large product selection in digital format is available for readers and competing retail systems, like Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google Play and Tolino fight for digital customers.

Why is the US ebook market so different to the rest of the world?

Some analysts have already voted for the return of agency pricing in the US that has caused somewhat higher prices, slowing down sales of ebooks. We don’t believe it is the reason for the US market setback. The real reason is a natural cycle of the new, strongly developing tech/media market.

First wave:
Amazon Kindle ereader started this wave in 2007. It was a new device designed solely for reading ebooks. The Kindle and low-cost Kindle ebooks were the reason why the first wave was successful in the English-language markets. Since then, many other E ink ereader brands have been introduced, but the sales of pure ereader devices have been declining for some time already.

Second wave:
Tablets and phablets. More and more people are enjoying digital books because they are able to read books on a tablet or on a large-screen smartphone they already have. Outside English-language markets, the growth of ebooks really took off with tablets and it continues with the success of phablets.

Third wave:
Ebooks will develop further. Currently, ebooks are more or less just like their print book cousins, only the layout may slightly differ. Especially, non-fiction books, textbooks, academic books, and online publications will benefit from the new possibilities digital technology allows for books, such as video, audio, and interactivity.

EPUB3, Apple iBooks and to some extent Kindle book formats already allow creating such books, but compatibility with reader devices and apps is poor at the moment. This is where we will see all kinds of successful and less successful trials in the next few years. Some of them will stick and show the way to the future of book.

The U.S., UK or any other market hasn’t yet moved to the third wave (or beyond). When it happens, expect strong growth for media we used to call books.