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article imageeReader growth among Americans surpasses previous expectations

By Chanah Rubenstein     May 26, 2011 in Technology
New statistics coming out from eMarketer are reporting that eReaders in the US have more than quadrupled in the last two years. They also report that the rapid growth is ongoing.
According to eMarketer, in 2009, 1.9 percent of adults, 4.4 million Americans over the age of 18, owned an eReader. By the end of this year they estimate that the number of Americans with an eReader will jump up to 20.6 million Americans, or 8.7 percent.
They also predict that by 2012, 12 percent of adult Americans will have an eReader or similar device.
Upon hearing of Amazon’s success with its Kindle eReader and eBooks, last summer Forrester predicted great success for eReaders - but not to such a degree that we’re seeing now and is currently being projected for the future.
Forrester’s James McQuivey stated that by 2012, 15.5 million adults in the U.S. will own an eReader; 13.4 million less than eMarketers current prediction.
Forrester also predicted that the eReader market will cap in 2015 with just less than 30 million Americans – the approximate one-fifth of online adults who are said to read more than two books a month.
The current eMarketer figures represent a single user for each eReader; there is no assumption there is sharing of the eReaders.
However, eMarketer notes that many users do in fact share their eReaders. In a Nielsen report last year, they surveyed consumers and found that a third of eReader owners share their eReaders with at least one other person.
According to eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna, the reason for the healthy growth of eReader users has to do with the healthy selling numbers at both the lower end, and higher end of the spectrum.
He said, “Amazon’s announcement that its ad-supported, lowest-priced Kindle is now its best-seller supports the view that people are eager for affordable, no-frills devices. At the same time, Liberty Media’s $1 billion offer for Barnes & Noble was predicated largely on the retailer’s success with the NOOK Color, whose list price is nearly double that of the ad-supported Kindle. Healthy sales at both ends of the ereader price spectrum bode well for continued adoption of this device category.”
Of the relationship between advertising and eReaders, Verna went on to say, “Brand marketers seeking to reach book enthusiasts have a new medium at their disposal with the ad-supported Kindle. Naturally, marketers will want to avoid disrupting the reading experience, but ads on the Kindle screen saver and homepage appear to be hitting the spot where the interests of advertisers, publishers, device-makers and consumers converge.”
paidContent.org reports that many experts believe a price below $100 is crucial to eReaders growing success.
When Kobo announced this past week that they were releasing a new touch-screen version of their eReader, they also revealed that the prices for their original devices were going to drop to $99 US.
More about Ereaders, Emarketer, Forrester, Kobo, Reading
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