August 13, 2013

Amazon leads the way

Both Amazon and authors will be very happy with a new survey out about the reading habits of ebook buyers. Not only that, it appears that ebook piracy is not much to worry about!

According to a new OFCOM survey, the vast majority of the UK’s ebook readers are almost exclusively buying from Amazon, and to a lesser extent all the other digital bookstores. 79% of the people polled from March to May 2013 have used Amazon’s Kindle platform to download, access, or share e-books in the last three months.

Apart from being the world’s top publishing market, Amazon is the bookstore of choice for ebook buyers in the UK. Apple’s iBookstore was the second most used ebook platform, with 9% of respondents saying that was their preferred choice. Google’s search engine was the third most popular platform, used by 8% of people. Google Play has a 6% share, while 5% of respondents accessed or downloaded e-books from email, 5% from Kobo, and 4% through Facebook. Waterstones has a 3% share of the UK e-book market, along with uTorrent, a platform for Microsoft Windows and Android.

One thing that stands out is that Barnes and Noble is not even in the top ten, despite the money they are investing in advertising and slashing of hardware prices.

There is good news for authors though! During the survey period, customers spent close to £525m – that’s £9.79 for every person in the UK! Customers also appear to be disdainful of higher than average ebook prices. 81% said they would be prepared to pay an entry price of £2 for an ebook. The average price that respondents were willing to pay for ebooks was £3.74.

There was even more good news on the ebook pirating front. Only 1% of UK readers claimed to engage in the shady aspects of pirating ebooks via file sharing websites.  And one startling fact is that the book pirates actually spend more money on books than other customers. Pirates spent around £27.46 on average on digital and physical books, whereas those who accessed all their e-books legally, spent £23.77 on average.

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