Futurebook's Digital Census: 10 Key Findings

The Bookseller's Digital Census, which is an "annual tracker of how the book business is managing the digital shift" in the U.K., shared 10 key findings from its latest report:

  1. For the first time, the percentage of respondents who commonly read on an iPad (41.9%) outstrips those who do so on a Kindle (37.9%).
  2. 71% buy e-books regularly from Amazon--more than five times as many as do so frequently from the next most popular e-retailer, Apple's iBookstore (13.4%).
  3. 15.6% say they could envisage a day when there will be no physical bookshops.
  4. 50% of publishers say digital formats now account for more than 10% of their total sales, but nearly a quarter (23.6%) say they account for 3% or less. Less than a third (30.7%) of respondents think digital will generate more than 50% of their sales (in value terms) by the end of 2020--substantially down from nearly half (48.2%) in the 2012 Census.
  5. 66.8% think the U.K. will sell more books in digital formats than in print by 2025.
  6. 28.8% say they now sell subscriptions. Half (50.7%) think it will become a viable model in the future.
  7. 76.5% of publishers now think territorial rights are coming under increasing pressure as the e-book market develops globally.
  8. On a scale of 1 to 10--with 1 very unsatisfied and 10 very satisfied--traditionally published authors rated their publishers at a lukewarm average of 5.7. But self-published authors' levels of satisfaction with what they have achieved to date is, on average, a rosier 7.1.
  9. 48.1% of self-published authors say they have sold fewer than 1,000 e-books. Another quarter (25.9%) have sold between 1,000 and 5,000.
  10. 14.7% think the sector as a whole is prepared for the next stage in the digital revolution.

The survey was completed by more than 1,000 respondents. The full 25-page Digital Census was made available to all Futurebook delegates on Friday.

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