The new report is now available from BookNet Canada.
While it is true that the number of available ebooks with sales continues to decline — from a high of 88% in 2014 to just 54% in 2016 — some of this might be due to the growing number of digitized backlist titles. It might also be caused in part by a 2.1% decline in ebook sales from 2015 to 2016, according to consumer surveying.
However, while the number of ebooks without sales went up, so too did revenue for 61% of reporting firms: 25% of them experienced a digital revenue increase of more than 25% over the previous year.
While the print versus digital debate continues, what has become clear is that audiobooks are having their moment. In 2016, 37% of the publishers we surveyed were producing digital audiobooks, which is a large jump from 16% in 2015. And those firms have anywhere from zero to 7,000 active audiobook titles.
From the Report:
Publishers continue to sell their ebooks to libraries at a stable rate, with a 1% increase experienced every year from 2014 (75%) to 2016 (77%).
In 2016, we broke down the pricing categories of digital books for library sales even further than in previous surveys, to recect the differences between print retail prices and ebook retail prices. We found that the majority of rms offer libraries the same price for their digital books as the ebook retail price (33%), followed by a multiple of the print book retail price (21%).
OverDrive continues to be the most popular library wholesaler, with 88% of rms using their service. Baker & Taylor (61%), 3M/bibliotheca (58%), and Follett (58%) are also very popular. Meanwhile, World Public Library experienced a decline from 8% in 2015 to 0% in 2016. This year, EBSCO was added as a new vendor option, garnering 49% of responses.
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