The global E-book market size was valued at USD 15.71 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness significant growth on account of increasing digitalization of educational books and other genres of novels. Furthermore, multi lingual features of E-books is an advantage which is expected to help gain share over the projection period. The growth of the market has been majorly driven by increasing penetration of smartphones for reading purposes in countries such as China, India and the U.S.
Global E-book market revenue, by genre, 2014 - 2024 (USD Billion)
Over the past few years, the use of E-books has been significantly growing owing to increasing availability of digital versions of traditional books. Several companies are concentrating on increasing their digital catalogue for users. For instance, in May 2013, Hachette Book Group launched digital versions of more than 5,000 books for readers worldwide.
A drastic change from traditional books to digitalized versions in the publishing industry as well as growing demand for mobile and reading platforms such as Kindle and iPad provides an extra advantage to publishers to make their title catalogues available in digital formats. Availability of texts that have gone out of print on these platforms is expected to provide an impetus to the growth of the market.
The global E-book sub segment of the book publishing market is expected to grow at the fastest rate over the projection period. Additionally, an increasing trend of online information collection for research & educational purpose is projected to fuel the growth of E-books market. The fragile nature of traditional books prone to wear and tear and further high cost give a competitive advantage to E-books.
The regulatory framework for copyrights, which are pivotal in e-books context. Hence piracy plays as the major restraint for the growth of the e-book industry. Nowadays most publishers such as Harper Collins, Penguin Random House and Kensington Publishing houses have been releasing the majority of their new books across various online platforms, especially Amazon and Kobo, while a large number of independent book shops permit consumers to shop for digital text from their virtual platforms.
Segmentation by Genre
• Non-fiction & education
• Children’s book
• Comics & Graphic novels
Fiction was the most popular genre in the publishing industry and dominated the E-book market by contributing 56.5% of the revenues generated in 2016. The plots where the reader can easily relate themselves to the characters the story has been the major factor for increasing popularity of this genre.
Nonfiction & Education segment followed the suit of the overall market share in 2016. In the era of digitalization, the conversion of hard bound books to E-book is anticipated to revolutionalize the entire educational field especially Science, Medicine & Technology (SMT).
Numerous educational institutes are shifting towards digitalization for publishing journals and research papers as they can be easily accessed by students and teachers alike, from anywhere at any given point of time. Rising population of educated youth is also one of the key factors which help this segment to grow over the forecast period.
Segmentation by Region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Rest of the World
North America accounted for the highest share in 2016 and is expected to grow in next few years on account of rising demand for E-books of genre comics and graphics novel. Increasing demand for digitalized comic books is projected to drive the market in the region. Furthermore, publishers such as DC Entertainment and MARVEL are expanding their portfolio to follow this trend. However, saturation of the sector is expected to result in the limited growth of the market.
Asia Pacific accounted for 14.2% of the global market in 2016 and is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR due to the rising population of educated youth in this region. Additionally, increasing awareness regarding the ecofriendly nature of digital text is expected to result in rapid growth. Asia Pacific is home to a number of educational institutes, where these institutes have started saving space occupied by hard copies and shifting towards E-books which provides a greater opportunity for them to minimize space consumption.
Europe is also expected to show steady growth over the forecast period especially Western European countries such as Germany and UK. UK has numerous world renown educational institutes such as Oxford, Cambridge and LSE (London School of Economics). These institutes are encouraging their students to use digital text than the conventional hard books. These initiatives taken by these famous institutes are expected to fuel the E-book in Europe.
The global market is consolidated in nature with the presence of a limited number of players primarily concentrated in North America and Europe. Key vendors include Amazon, Hachette, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House and Kensington Publishing. These vendors are focusing on product innovation to tap potential markets and increase their presence globally.
Research Support Specialist, USA