With today’s rapidly evolving technology and ever-present social media changing the way consumers are connecting with the written word, it should come as no surprise that today’s teens are finding and consuming content differently from previous generations. But while we typically associate these youthful consumers with being early adopters of new technology and digital content platforms, the reading habits of those aged 13-17 are a mix of old and new.
Despite teens’ tech-savvy reputation, this group continues to lag behind adults when it comes to reading e-books, even with the young adult genre’s digital growth relative to the total e-book market. While 20% of teens purchasing e-books, 25% of 30-44 year olds and 23% of 18-29 year olds buy digital copies. While younger readers are open to e-books as a format, teens continue to express a preference for print that may seem to be at odds with their perceived digital know-how.
Several factors may play a role in teens’ tendency toward printed publications. Parents’ preference for print could have an effect or teens’ lack of credit cards for online purchases. But another explanation may be teens’ penchant for borrowing and sharing books rather than purchasing them, which is easier to do in print. Over half of teens are still looking for books on library or bookstore shelves. And in-store browsing is about level with browsing online for this group.
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See Also: Another E-Book Dip (via PW)
The Nielsen survey of consumers also found that 57% reported buying their e-books through Amazon in the first nine months of 2014. Amazon’s single closest competitor was BN.com/Nook, which had a 14% share of unit e-book purchases through the first nine months of the year. Apple had only a 6% share. The “other” category had a 20% share, and it is possible some consumers did not realize which e-bookstore they were using to download certain e-books.