Friday, 02 December 2011 15:56

eBook market surges with popularity of tablets

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The eBook market continues to record strong growth with the upsurge in usage of tablet devices, with revenues from eBooks delivered to portable devices forecast to be pushed to $9.7 billion by 2016, up from just $3.2 billion this year.


Juniper Research reports continued strong growth across the entire eReader market and says that the increasing demand for tablets means that these devices will account for nearly 30 percent of all eBook downloads by 2016.

In addition to the higher rate of tablet penetration, Juniper says that eBook access on the devices has already been boosted by the launch of leading brand bookstore applications, such as Apple's iBookStore and Amazon's Kindle.

According to the report author, Dr Windsor Holden, while mobile handsets currently account for the largest share of eBook downloads, the majority of these are comprised by the Japanese manga market. 'Elsewhere, smartphones are not - and are unlikely to become - a primary reading device. However, storefront operators are increasingly seeking to enable synchronised eBook content across multiple devices, thereby allowing users to continue reading text on their smartphone when their eReader/tablet is unavailable,' Holden says.

While the transition to eCommerce and to digital content delivery has demonstrably had a negative impact on traditional 'bricks and mortar' retailers, Holden observes that larger bookstore chains 'increasingly seeking to marry their digital and physical activities.'

'The Barnes & Noble model has been to use its own brand eReader - and its tablet application - to act as a bridge between online and in-store purchases. The other chains are picking up on that, launching their own devices, offering digital coupons to be redeemed in-store, reinforcing the relationship with the consumer.'

Other findings from Juniper's report include:

'¢    The adoption of the EPUB3 standard should create new markets for rich media titles - enhanced eBooks - across dedicated eReaders, and

'¢    Subscription pricing models are likely to proliferate amongst corporate/educational content

The mPublishing whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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