Category Archives: Surveys/Statistics/Reports

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

CLEVELAND—January 8, 2015—Capitalizing 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