Category Archives: Surveys/Statistics/Reports

Study points to students forgoing required learning materials due to cost; grades suffer as a result

Just in from Vital Source:

Raleigh, NC – A growing number of college students are choosing not to purchase textbooks and other required course materials in an effort to save money, according to a new study conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of VitalSource Technologies LLC.

The study finds 85 percent of the college and university students surveyed have either waited to buy course materials until after the first day of class or opted not to purchase the materials altogether – up five percent from a similar survey conducted in 2016. Nearly all (91 percent) of the students surveyed cite cost as the reason for not buying their books, and half admit their grades suffered as a result. Continue reading Study points to students forgoing required learning materials due to cost; grades suffer as a result

Business of Books 2017: A new whitepaper gives valuable insight into the state of publishing worldwide and the impact of digital and self-publishing

The Business of Books 2017 is an annual publication from Franfkurter Buchmesse that gives insight into the trends related to book publishing (traditional and digital) worldwide, including markets in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

While the paper’s focus is on the publishing industry—particularly the trade side of it, and, unsurprisingly, the Anglo-Saxon influence of it—much insight can be gained here on many other aspects of the book industry by all who are in one way or another, directly or indirectly, involved with the book business, especially librarians, educators, independent authors, and various media companies that look to publishing (trade and educational)  to expand their offerings, particularly in the field of ebook distribution, audiobooks, multi-media, and gaming.

The white paper may be downloaded on the Book Fair’s web siteContinue reading Business of Books 2017: A new whitepaper gives valuable insight into the state of publishing worldwide and the impact of digital and self-publishing

STM, trade and education industry leaders offer perspectives on digital transformation in publishing

Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s white paper, Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on the Digital Transformation Journey in Publishing, is based on interviews with leaders from the STM, Education and Trade sectors. The objective was to gain insights regarding five core elements in the digital transformation journey: Content Storage, Metadata, Content Agility, Discoverability and Collaboration. The interviews were conducted in early 2017 and include senior leaders holding “C-Suite,” Vice-President and Director+ positions.

The full PDF may be downloaded here. Some highlights below.

On how publishers are progressing with digital transformation

  • Half of the interviewees believe their current transformation efforts were ‘on par’ relative to peers in the publishing industry.
  • STM organizations cited significant investments in 3 of the 5 transformational areas over the past few years, bolstering their claim to “lead” the rest of the industry.
  • Conversely, over 30 percent of Trade and 50 percent  of EDU respondents feel that their companies are lagging the industry on the transformation journey.
  • 50 percent of publishers interviewed are looking for ways to replace declining revenues from print and advertising, with 41 percent  looking to new product options.

Continue reading STM, trade and education industry leaders offer perspectives on digital transformation in publishing

The State of Reading Recommendation Services in Libraries [new white paper]

Newly launched Demco, Inc. division publishes whitepaper about trends around popular library service

Madison, WI (Tuesday, April 25, 2017) – Demco Software today announced the publication of “Going the Extra Service Mile: The State of Reading Recommendation Services in Libraries,” the whitepaper that explores findings from their early 2017 survey of librarians across the globe. The newly launched division of Demco, Inc., which offers mobile apps, programming resources and management tools to 21st-century libraries, has made the paper available for free download here.

Built with input from public, academic, school and special librarians, the survey collected data from over 330 librarians about the state of reading recommendations in libraries. Among the key findings were:

  • 70% of libraries offer reading recommendations, but 91% have no formal system in place for tracking user satisfaction.
  • Overall, reading recommendations are seen as a key service by library decision makers (90%), staff (94%) and library users (41%) alike.
  • Goals for the service vary, but an overwhelming majority see them as a way to foster greater community engagement (80%) and drive discovery of resources (77%).

“Much of the data confirmed librarians’ desires to use reading recommendations to form deeper connections with their communities,” shared Mary Casey, Director of Marketing at Demco Software. “It’s clear that libraries are looking for additional ways to prove return on investment in this service. We’re excited to take this data to our development team and see what innovations they come up with to provide the assessment opportunities that librarians seek.”

New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

AAPAAP has released some new numbers this week that point to the trend we saw in previous findings: that print (paperback and hardcover) and audio sales continue to grow while ebook sales continue to decline. See full report here.

As always, when such reports are released, NSR zooms in on ebook numbers. They continue to go down (not up), as we can clearly see, but as we’ve noted previously on this issue, this may actually be a good thing. At least for those who advocate for more affordable access to books online, and especially for those whose advocate free access to books online (beyond libraries). Although disappointing, numbers like this do not confirm that people don’t want to read and access content in digital format. Instead, they confirm that they simply do not want to pay for ebooks, or at least not as much they’ve had to pay thusfar. Continue reading New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

Ebook sales continue to decline in 2016. That may be good news [for those who advocate free reading]

read-876536NSR is not big on sharing statistics and reports on its site, since numbers released in them are often used to promote and encourage the status quo as opposed to encourage publishers (and all who work with books) to transform and go beyond traditional sales and marketing methods; to take the lead as opposed to rely on reports to justify reinforcing old practices. This report, just released by the Association of American Publishers today, in and of itself isn’t all that surprising (or newsworthy), telling us that in the first half of 2016 book sales were down ‘slightly’ when compared to book sales in 2015. We do, however, want to draw  attention to one statistic in this document: that in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015, sales of ebooks were down 20 percent (to 579.5 million).

This actually may not be bad news for ebooks and econtent in general. At least for those advocating free reading and free (but sponsored) access to books online, regardless of geography, status, and membership. Why? Because numbers like this do not confirm that people don’t want to read and access content in digital format. Instead, they confirm that they simply do not want to pay for it. Readers are already used to consuming massive amounts of information for free online, and their expectations will gravitate in the direction of ‘free’ even when it comes to books (including fiction and all types of nonfiction).

It may sound odd, but it actually makes sense. If ebook sales continue to decline, it just may be the signal publishers need to consider opening books online for free consumption while still being able to gain from it (by relying on ebook models that support free reading through sponsorship, like Free Reading Zones, instead of opting for business models that require people or ebook services to purchase publishers’ ebooks in advance). Publishing industry has always been reactive to change, rather than proactive in its efforts to transform itself. Seeing ebook sales decline year after year will not make ebooks go away—their power to eliminate unequal (and unbalanced) access to knowledge (in all forms) is too real to be denied—but it may lead publishers and libraries to consider (and reconsider) other options. Below full press release.


Washington, DC; Nov. 16, 2016 – Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were down 3.4% for the first half of 2016 vs. the same period in 2015. The greatest percentage gains from the first half of the year came from Religious Presses, up 10.4%.

While revenue for Trade Books grew 6.7% in June, the gains were not enough to counter declines from earlier in the year, and the overall category declined 1.1% in the first half of 2016.

“After a tough first quarter — with trade sales down 7.4% from the prior year — second quarter sales have bounced back with 4.6% growth. Sales of adult, children’s and religious books all increased in the second quarter due to a mix of factors including movie tie-ins, a diversity of titles from small and midsize presses, and religious presses recovering from a tough 2015,” said Tom Allen President and CEO of AAP.

Overview

  • For the first half of the year, sales in all tracked categories were down 3.4% to $5.37 billion vs. the same six months in 2015. Tracked categories include: Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
  • Publishers’ book sales for June 2016 in all tracked categories were $1.46 billion, down 4.7% from June 2015.
  • In the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015, trade sales were down 1.1% to $3.03 billion:
    • Adult Books had $2.11 billion in sales, down 2.8%
    • Childrens/YA Books had $689.3 million in sales, up 0.9%
    • Religious Presses had $222.4 million in sales, up by 10.4%

Trends for Trade by Format

  • In the first half of 2016 vs. 2015:
    • Paperback books grew 8.8% to $1.01 billion
    • Downloaded audio grew 32.3% to $126.7 million
    • Hardback books grew 0.9% $989.7 million
    • eBooks were down 20.0% to $579.5 million
  • Interesting trends in June:
    • June 2016 had an unusually high percentage of growth in religious presses’ Paperback Books, which are up 54.6% compared to June 2015; the whole category has grown 16.8% over the past half year vs. 2015.
    • June was also a month of incredible growth for downloaded audio, with 51.7% more revenue than June 2015.
    • In June eBooks had their slightest monthly decline in over a year, down only 9.7%.

Below is a chart that shows the market share of various Trade Book formats for the first half of the year from the past six years. Of note, eBooks have around the same percent of market share in 2016 as they did in 2011, while audiobooks doubled their share. The most consistent category has been hardback books, which has ranged from 33.0% to 36.4%.

20161115aappressreleasechart

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 2.1% for K-12 Instructional Materials and 5.9% for Higher Education Course Materials, in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015.
  • Professional Publishing was down 23.1% in the first half of 2016 vs. the first three months of 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 1.7% in the first half of 2016 vs. 2015.

 

A new report on ebook trends is out, but its prohibitive cost makes it affordable only to some. Why?

E-Books - Market Trends & Insights - Product ImageWe learned yesterday from BusinessWire that Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “E-Books: Market Trends & Insights” report to their ‘offering.’ According to the BusinessWire site, the report presents up-to-date insights into the ebook market worldwide, including countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Spain. Featuring 22 data tables, the 18-page report consists of the following sections: an Introduction, a Market Overview, a Competitive Landscape, and an Appendix.

NSR wanted to purchase this report to share its findings with all who monitor the progress of ebooks’ positive influence on the world (the very reason for NSR’s existence), but, alas, the prohibitive cost of the 18-page document makes it impossible to do so at this time.

I am using this opportunity to reflect, with both respect and disappointment, on the cost of a document of this kind. And here it is, as cited on Research and Market’s website.

  • $1495 for a single user (PDF)
  • $2093 for 1-5 users (PDF)
  • $2840 for 1-10 users (PDF)
  • $3588 for 1-15 (PDF)

Investigating trends and researching markets takes time, resources, and a lot of human energy. It almost always involves more than one person and there are expenses along the way for all involved. Those of us who have compiled such reports for publishers and other companies catering to consumers, distributors, and curators of books are no strangers to the process. But on behalf of all independent professionals out there who could use this information today to help them do more with ebooks (not less), I ask: is such a PDF worth $1495 for a single user? And what’s the cost of this same document for an organization of more than 15 users?

People’s and organizations’ efforts should be compensated fairly, but when we — the industry that, at its most fundamental level, is about spreading information based on research and facts — ‘value’ knowledge in a way that makes it inaccessible to all who are willing to ‘move’ the world with it, we are only contributing to keeping the world divided into those who can and those who can’t. We are also encouraging a world in which a Prada purse is ‘worth’ more simply because it costs more.

So, as the title of this post states: A new report on ebook trends is out, but its prohibitive cost makes it immediately affordable only to some.  There are a lot of organizations out there that can easily shell out a few thousand to obtain this data for their employees. And many of them are media outlets whose sole purpose is to serve this information to the consumer. But there are also those of us who want to use this information on our own terms. In our own communities. And with our own peers.

A suggestion for Research and Markets: please reconsider the cost of this and similar reports for those of us interested in using their data to promote and encourage more ebook use around the world (including countries not mentioned). For us, it’s not about p vs e. It’s about digital literacy. What sustains us (and our efforts) is the passion for the idea that ebooks can crack the world open in ways yet to be seen. For us, it’s not just reporting. It’s encouragement.

Meanwhile, we look forward to someone else’s reporting on this.

The truth about paying for news online — hardly anyone wants to do it (but all want quality)

ReutersBad news first: readers do not want to pay for news online. Period. But readers of all ages, including the millennials–the age group closely watched on all things e-content consumption–want their news to come from trusted source.  According to a Reuters poll conducted back in April, 81 percent of the 1240 respondents said that a news brand is synonymous with trusted content but two thirds of them said they wouldn’t pay for any content if available to them online, regardless of who is behind it.

Digiday recently interviewed Reuters commercial director Jeff Perkins on the challenges of news organizations dealing with such findings. The interview may be read here; some more highlights below:

  • the future of how millennials consume news will mostly be influenced by virtual reality, wearable devices, and artificial intelligence
  • the reports of “the homepage” being dead or dying have been greatly exaggerated
  • the millennials consume most news via social media, particularly Facebook, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter

Also recommended reading on the subject of news publishers’ survival: As e-reading moves to mobile, how will news publishers make money? [TeleRead]

Audiobooks: An effective tool for improving literacy

audiobooks and literacyA study has just been released that confirms the positive impact of audiobooks in literacy development. But do we even need to conduct more studies to prove that listening is, in fact, learning? Haven’t people been listening to stories for centuries, and long before they could pass them around to each other on paper? And aren’t we also using our imagination when ‘listening’ to a story in order to conjure up mental images of what is being told to us? Audiobooks have always been popular, and for good reasons: some people (including children) prefer to listen rather than read, and many believe one can learn just as much from listening.

The really interesting aspect of this is the connection of audiobooks and ebooks. Since audiobooks are often thought of as “digital content,” let us not forget that many ebooks nowadays come with an audio component built in, which means they can be read or listened to (or both). Which also means: ebooks and audiobooks are quickly blending into one type of “format,” making it harder to distinguish between the two. Making it rather obvious that in the not-so-distant future, we will not need to.

Read the study here.

In response to Ebook Sales Declining Report from AAP: It’s all good

In response to Declining Ebook SalesSo we learned yesterday, directly from the Association of American Publishers, that publishers’ overall revenue from ebook sales are declining. Some takeaways, as reported by Digital Book World: Ebook sales declined in 2015; digital audio continued to grow in popularity; trade publishers did better than educational and scholarly publishers; adult books performed better than other trade categories. Always more interested in the “how” rather than the “how much,” I’ll let others report on the numbers and figures, while I reflect on the possible/likely reasons why these trends are prevalent, what they teach us about our relationship with ebooks, and why it actually all makes sense (and cents). Continue reading In response to Ebook Sales Declining Report from AAP: It’s all good

94% of public libraries offer ebooks says the 2015 LJ/SLJ report

Library Journal/School Library Journal conducted the 6th annual survey of public libraries regarding ebooks.  The 2015 report is available for download here.  The report is made available courtesy of Freading.  Registration is required.

From the executive summary:  ” If  it  appears  from  the  current  survey  (based  on  317  U.S.  public  libraries  responding)  that  much  of  the  enthusiasm  for  ebooks  has  cooled,  it  is  only  because  they  have  become  less  of  a  novelty  and  more  mainstream.”

“Ebook pricing is too high” is the most common complaint from public librarians about ebooks.

Here’s a page snip showing the number of public libraries offering ebooks over the last 6 reports:

The number of Public Libraries offering ebooks from the 6 LJ/SLJ surveys from 2010 - 2015.
The number of Public Libraries offering ebooks from the 6 LJ/SLJ surveys from 2010 – 2015.

How public libraries are evolving digitally – new report

From the OverDrive blog:

OverDrive conducted an end user survey from June 26-July 15, 2015. Administered via library websites, the survey collected input from 16,756 respondents.  Their full report examines the positive effect the shift to digital content has had on the role of libraries in their communities by helping attract new readers, serve existing patrons better and reach beyond their physical walls.

There is a nice infographic on the original OverDrive blog post.

Click here to see the full report and survey.

Ingram offers new Edelweiss Analytics tool

NASHVILLE, TN — Ingram Library Services Inc., an Ingram Content Group Inc. company, expands the services it provides libraries with the addition of timely analytics and data powered by Above the Treeline’s Edelweiss Analytics, a web-based, interactive collection analysis tool. It gives libraries access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available on library circulation, retail sales data, title data and much more.     Continue reading Ingram offers new Edelweiss Analytics tool

Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs

Full Report on the KU Proof-of-Concept Pilot now available here.

Cultural Science Journal has published a full report on the KU Pilot project (Vol 7, No. 2, 2014, ISSN 1836-0416).

Knowledge Unlatched: A Global Library Consortium Model for Funding Open Access Scholarly Books. Full Report on the Proof-of-Concept Pilot 2014” provides information about the Knowledge Unlatched proof-of-concept Pilot, which took place between January 2012 and September 2014. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs

Study released on impact of digital courseware on student learning

A new report from SRI Education evaluates Gates Foundation’s investments in digital courseware over the last five years.  Executive Summary available.  Abstract below.  Report offers lessons learned, gaps in knowledge base data, and nine recommendations for future courseware investments.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success initiative seeks to understand what is required for technology applications to produce positive student impacts at scale. SRI analyzed the features of 137 different courses from 12 major postsecondary courseware-related projects and performed a quantitative meta-analysis of student outcomes to estimate the impact of digital courseware on student learning. Follow-up analyses examined the design features, conditions, and practices associated with differences in student outcomes. A conceptual framework relating evaluation approaches to stages of learning technology investment is provided.

Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

CLEVELANDJanuary 8, 2015Capitalizing on the latest advances in eBook technology and popular catalog availability, public libraries saw digital checkouts rise again to record levels in 2014.  OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading eBook and audiobook platform for libraries and schools, announced today that circulation of eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media increased 33% in 2014 to 137 million checkouts, while web traffic and discoverability similarly increased, especially on mobile devices.

Continue reading Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

OverDrive announces 10 public library systems in the “1 Million Checkout Club”

From the OverDrive blog:

We’re excited to announce that 2014’s “1 Million Checkout Club” includes 10 public library systems, surpassing the six lirbaries that accomplished this feat in 2013! Checkouts include all borrowed digital items including eBooks, audiobooks, music, streaming video and periodicals from the library’s OverDrive-powered collection and each of the libraries experienced significant year-over-year growth from 2013.

The following libraries have joined the 2014 Million Digital Checkouts Club:

2 Million or more digital checkouts

Continue reading OverDrive announces 10 public library systems in the “1 Million Checkout Club”

New study shows increase in reading on mobile phones

Publishing Technology released a report earlier this month about trends in mobile phone ebook reading.  An infographic, slides of a presentation, and full report are all available using the link above.

The survey, consisting of 3,000 consumers from the US and UK, concluded that:

  • 43% have read an e-book, or part of an e-book, on their handsets
  • 66% of mobile phone book readers currently read more on their phones than they did last year

Publishing Technology explored the subject of mobile phone book reading by surveying consumers in the US and UK to better understand their habits and preferences.  They unveiled the results and key trends from the study over the course of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair.  The Publishing Technology blog, Content Forward, also includes study results for mobile devices and a variety of other topics.

“Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” new report from Aspen Institute

The full report is available here.   Full press release below.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ A new report released today from the Aspen Institute looks at how — in an age of instant and abundant information — U.S. public libraries can drive community advancements unlike any other public institution.

“Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” explores how public libraries can respond as the digital age increases the demand for high-speed information access, changes in our education systems, innovative job training models and additional community services to help people and communities compete in the new economy. The report is part of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The multiyear dialogue brings library professionals, policymakers, technology experts, philanthropists, educators and civic leaders together to explore the future of public libraries. Continue reading “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” new report from Aspen Institute

eTextbooks have high satisfaction rate says RedShelf survey

RedShelf is a leading supplier of digital learning materials, dedicated to providing paramount technology to the learning community in order to accelerate the transition to digital. In collaboration with strategic partners, publishers, institutional bookstores, and other content creators. RedShelf streamlines the discovery and distribution of eBooks and other digital course materials for today’s students. Utilizing a seamless browser-based eReader solution along with a powerful eCommerce engine, RedShelf provides easily accessible and cost-effective learning materials to learners everywhere. Continue reading eTextbooks have high satisfaction rate says RedShelf survey