Book buying habits are changing with online buys increasing and so also the sales of e-books and audio books. Statista reports that Germans were more likely to buy e-books online bookstores than consumers in the UK. A study from the Pew Research Center shows 30% of Americans have read an e-book in the last twelve months.
“The digital arm of the European book market will continue to grow in years to come, and it is inevitable that more consumers will switch to digital formats or combine them with print. The presence, growth, and popularity of e-books and audiobooks will not necessarily herald the imminent death of print, but on the contrary, will allow publishers more options in terms of what and how they market their offerings to the public”, Statista says.
The Pew study shows 75% of U.S. adults have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, whether completely or part way through, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2011. Print books remain the most popular format with 65% of adults saying that they have read a print book in the past year.
While shares of print book readers and audiobook listeners remain mostly unchanged from a Pew survey in 2019, the share of Americans who report reading e-books is up from 25% to 30%.
The compound annual growth rate of e-book revenue between 2010 and 2020 was by far the highest in Germany at over 45% compared to 18% for the UK. Despite this, e-books were the third most popular book format in the UK and e-book consumption is overall on the rise
Younger consumers in the UK and Italy were the most frequent e-book readers while in Norway it was adults 55 to 66 years old who were the most likely to e-books.
Audiobooks have also made an impact in recent years. Most consumers do not listen exclusively to audiobooks, preferring a combination of book formats, Statista reports.
In Norway sales of audiobooks increased from just under 590 000 copies in 2010 to 6.1 million in 2020. Sales revenue from consumer audiobook downloads in the UK almost doubled between 2018 and 2020. In Sweden, 36% of adults16 to 85 years old reported said they listen to audiobooks in their spare time and for 16 to 29 years old, the share was over 50%.