Australia, India, the U.K. and the U.S. are leading the world in e-book adoption rates, according to Bowker Market Research’s Global eBook Monitor, The study tracks consumer attitudes to and purchasing of e-books in major world markets.
Research for Bowker’s Global e-book Monitor was conducted among the online population in 10 countries – Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. in early 2012. India, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. lead in adoption of e-books, with more than 20 percent of respondents reporting purchasing e-books in the six months prior to the survey. Respondents in France and Japan were the least likely to have purchased an e-book, at five percent and eight percent respectively. While purchase behavior varies by country, awareness is relatively consistent: more than 80 percent of respondents in each country know it is possible to digitally download a book.
Age and gender are consistent predictors of purchase behavior globally. For example, in most countries surveyed, men are more likely than women to buy an e-book.
Germany shows the greatest divergence, with 18 percent of male respondents having bought an e-book in the past six months, compared to only 8 percent of women. In almost all markets, the older the respondents, the less likely they are to have recently purchased an e-book.
Purchase rates in India, Brazil, the U.K., U.S. and France are highest in the 25–34 age group, with Australia, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Japan highest among 18-24 year olds.
The numbers of e-books downloaded in the past six months within genres indicates significant differences between countries. In the U.K. and Australia the concentration is on adult fiction, while in India and South Korea the concentration is on both professional/business and academic/textbooks.
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