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Books and e-books - UK - June 2017

“The print book revival continues as consumers, young and old, demonstrate an appreciation for being able to tangibly own and read physical content. In contrast, the e-books market has stagnated, indicating that innovation is needed to regenerate excitement around the format and more distinctly distinguish e-books from the currently favoured print option”.
– Rebecca McGrath, Senior Media Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • The print revival is here to stay 
  • Audiobooks on the rise as e-books stall

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The print revival continues
              • Figure 1: Forecast of total consumer book market sales, 2012-22
            • Audiobook sales are growing fast
              • Major growth for children’s books
                • Waterstones announces profits for first time in seven years
                  • Nook’s e-book customers change hands several times
                    • Amazon and Audible end exclusivity agreement
                      • Key players
                        • Top 20 publishers grow total print sales by 5%
                          • Harper Collins stands out with e-books sales growth
                            • Harry Potter once again tops the print sales charts …
                              • …and dominates top-20 audiobooks
                                • Amazon introduces ‘unlimited’ reading for Prime members
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Over half of adults bought print books
                                      • Figure 2: Book buying habits, April 2017
                                    • Stores and online are used almost equally to purchase print books
                                      • Figure 3: Online vs in-store purchasing of print books, April 2017
                                    • A smartphone is the most popular reading device for 16-24s
                                      • Figure 4: Devices used for e-books and audiobooks, April 2017
                                    • More than nine in 10 print readers read at home
                                      • Figure 5: Location books are read and listened to, April 2017
                                    • Price threshold lower for e-books
                                      • Figure 6: Price willing to pay for books, April 2017
                                    • People buy print when they are more invested in a book
                                      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards books and e-books, April 2017
                                    • One famous narrator is the preferred option
                                      • Figure 8: Preference for multiple audiobook narrators, April 2017
                                      • Figure 9: Preference for famous audiobook narrators, April 2017
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • The print revival is here to stay
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Audiobooks on the rise as e-books stall
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • The print revival continues
                                                    • The e-book market remains stagnant
                                                      • Audiobook sales are growing fast
                                                        • Major growth for children’s books
                                                          • Waterstones announces profits for first time in seven years
                                                            • Nook’s e-book customers change hands several times
                                                              • Amazon and Audible end exclusivity agreement
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • The print revival continues
                                                                    • Figure 10: Value of consumer book market sales, 2012-22
                                                                    • Figure 11: Forecast of total consumer book market sales, 2012-22
                                                                  • Forecasts
                                                                    • Figure 12: Forecast of total consumer print book market sales, 2012-22
                                                                    • Figure 13: Forecast of total consumer e-book market sales, 2012-22
                                                                  • Audiobook sales are growing fast
                                                                    • The impact of Brexit on book publishing
                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                                        • Total print market surpasses 2012 figures
                                                                          • Figure 14: The UK physical book market end purchase sales by category, 2012-16
                                                                        • Major growth for children’s books
                                                                          • Figure 15: Value of consumer market print book sales, by type of book, 2016
                                                                      • Market Background

                                                                        • Waterstones announces profits for first time in seven years
                                                                          • Waterstones defends unbranded stores
                                                                            • More independent stores close
                                                                              • Pocket Shop enters UK market by targeting travel hubs
                                                                                • Libraries face further cuts
                                                                                  • Amazon opens more physical bookstores
                                                                                    • Nook’s e-book customers change hands several times
                                                                                      • Amazon and Audible end exclusivity agreement
                                                                                        • E-reader ownership stalls
                                                                                          • Figure 16: Personal and household e-reader ownership, 2014-16
                                                                                        • EU ruling means e-books can’t have lower sales tax
                                                                                          • Amazon drops investigation into Amazon e-book contracts
                                                                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                            • Top 20 publishers grow total print sales by 5%
                                                                                              • HarperCollins stands out with e-books sales growth
                                                                                                • Harry Potter once again tops the print sales charts…
                                                                                                  • …and dominates top-20 audiobooks
                                                                                                    • Amazon introduces ‘unlimited’ reading for Prime members
                                                                                                      • Independent stores innovate to create a better retail experience
                                                                                                        • Netflix gives more focus to literary adaptations
                                                                                                          • Amazon introduces new weekly bestsellers list
                                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                                            • Top publishers grow total print sales
                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Value of consumer market print book sales, by top-20 publishers, 2015-16
                                                                                                            • HarperCollins stands out with e-books sales growth
                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Volume of consumer market e-book sales, by ‘big five’ publishers, 2012-16
                                                                                                            • Harry Potter once again tops the print sales charts…
                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Top 10 consumer print books, by volume and value, 2016
                                                                                                            • …and dominates top-20 audiobooks
                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Top 20 audiobook downloads from Audible, 2016
                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                            • Amazon introduces ‘unlimited’ reading for Prime members
                                                                                                              • Apple launches enhanced Game of Thrones e-books
                                                                                                                • Diversity is given greater focus by publishers
                                                                                                                  • Amazon UK offers £20,000 self-publishing prize
                                                                                                                    • Independent stores innovate to create a better retail experience
                                                                                                                      • Amazon introduces new weekly bestsellers list
                                                                                                                        • Netflix gives more focus to literary adaptations
                                                                                                                          • HarperCollins utilises Facebook Live to highlight authors
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                            • Six in 10 adults buy books
                                                                                                                              • Stores and online are used almost equally to purchase print books
                                                                                                                                • A smartphone is the most popular reading device for 16-24s
                                                                                                                                  • Adapting digital books for commuters
                                                                                                                                    • Price threshold lower for e-books
                                                                                                                                      • People buy print when they are more invested in a book
                                                                                                                                        • One famous narrator is the preferred option
                                                                                                                                        • Book Buying Habits

                                                                                                                                          • Over half of adults buy print books
                                                                                                                                            • Parents are a key demographic for print books
                                                                                                                                              • Audiobooks appeal to young men
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Book buying habits, April 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Online vs In-store Purchasing of Print Books

                                                                                                                                              • Stores and online are used almost equally to purchase print books
                                                                                                                                                • Faster delivery services will help boost online shopping
                                                                                                                                                  • More discovery features will improve online browsing
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Online vs in-store purchasing of print books, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                • Reading Habits and Devices Used

                                                                                                                                                  • Six in 10 have read a print book in the last 12 months
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Devices used for e-books and audiobooks, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                  • A smartphone is the most popular reading device for 16-24s
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Devices used to read books, by age, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                • Locations for Reading Books

                                                                                                                                                  • More than nine in 10 print readers read at home
                                                                                                                                                    • Smart speakers offer a new home audiobook experience
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Location books are read and listened to, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Adapting digital books for commuters
                                                                                                                                                    • How Much People are Willing to Pay for Books

                                                                                                                                                      • Price threshold lower for e-books
                                                                                                                                                        • Young men will pay more for e-books
                                                                                                                                                          • Hardbacks are highly valued
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Price willing to pay for books, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • Lack of familiarity means uncertainty about audiobook pricing
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Books and e-books

                                                                                                                                                            • People buy print when they are more invested in a book
                                                                                                                                                              • e-books are seen as more disposable
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Attitudes towards books and e-books, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Younger book buyers prefer in-store browsing
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Find in-store browsing for books more enjoyable than online browsing, by age, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Enhanced e-books appeal more to male readers
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Interested in buying enhanced e-books, by gender and age, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • For young readers, adaptations are very powerful
                                                                                                                                                                • Many are willing to pay for self-published books
                                                                                                                                                                  • Self-publishing makes author diversity even more important for publishers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Audiobook Narrator Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                    • One famous narrator is the preferred option
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Preference for multiple audiobook narrators, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Preference for famous audiobook narrators, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                          • Market forecasts
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Value of total consumer book market sales, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Value of total consumer print book sales, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Value of total consumer e-book sales, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                          • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                          Books and e-books - UK - June 2017

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