A new report from Juniper Research has found that continued strong growth in the dedicated eReader market, allied to an upsurge in usage across tablet devices, will push annual revenues from eBooks delivered to portable devices to $9.7 billion by 2016, up from $3.2 billion this year.
The report – Mobile Publishing: eBooks, eMagazines & eNewspapers for Smart Devices – found that the increasing demand for tablets means that these devices will account for nearly 30% of all eBook downloads by 2016. In addition to the higher rate of tablet penetration, eBook access on these devices has already been boosted by the launch of leading brand bookstore applications, such as Apple’s iBookStore and Amazon’s Kindle.
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.
While the transition to eCommerce and to digital content delivery has demonstrably had a negative impact on traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers, the report observed larger bookstore chains increasingly seeking to marry their digital and physical activities.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “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.”