Publisher’s Weekly reports that Kindle downloads, as a share of the eBook market are on the rise.
Of e-book downloads through July, 40% were made to computers, down from 48% at the end of the first quarter. Quickly gaining in market share over the summer were downloads to the Kindle. This was especially true in July, when downloads to computers plunged, while downloads to the Kindle soared. As a result, in July, for the first time in PubTrack’s monthly survey of consumers, Kindle downloads topped computers, accounting for 45% of all e-book downloads in the month.
And while Sony created a lot of buzz last week with the announcement of its new wireless device…it has lots of ground to cover before it catches the Kindle, holding only a 6% market share at the end of July.
The numbers suggest that eBook’s first consumer class, those earliest adopters who read them on a computer, likely because eBook reader choices were limited and even more expensive than they are now, are gradually being overtaken. Kindle and Sony eReader buyers tend to be older and more affluent than those who purchase books in other formats, but could it be that we are finally seeing the formation of a new consumer class? Are the earliest adopters merely trading up, or do we have an infusion of virgin eBook buyers who don’t require paper pulp to enjoy books?
One Contradictory Note to the Story Above…
I’ve noticed other bloggers questioning the source for the percentages above, since Amazon does not release it’s sales figures for the Kindle. Though it’s anecdotal, numbers from independent eBook retailer Books on Board show a different story. In a separate PW article, founder Bob LiVolsi…
….points out that despite the growing popularity of dedicated digital readers like the Sony Reader, the Cybook or even the iPhone, 60% of Books on Board customers download their e-books to their personal computers to read. He said about 20% use dedicated reading devices and about 15% use mobile devices and phones. And the use of Netbooks, small laptops with full computing functionality, is also growing quickly.
Though Books on Board doesn’t sell eBooks for the Kindle, this does gesture toward a connection between loyal eBook readers and computer formats.