May 28, 2022

New Research Report From The Panorama Project: “Immersive Media & Books 2020: Consumer Behavior and Experience with Multiple Media Forms”

From a Panorama Project Post:

The Panorama Project, a cross-industry publishing initiative, released today Immersive Media & Books 2020 a comprehensive market study that gauges the role of books and consumer engagement by age groups, ethnicity, and more.  This report contains survey data from 4,300+ pre-qualified respondents and was authored by Dr. Rachel Noorda and Dr. Kathi Inman-Berens, faculty members of the Portland State University graduate program in Book Publishing.

Data collection and analysis for Immersive Media & Books 2020 were conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and represent Panorama Project’s ongoing commitment to research.  The report is rich with data, including graphs and tables to illustrate provocative findings that will stimulate discourse between publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers, thought leaders, advocacy groups and the media.

A few select findings include:

  • Avid book engagers (4+ books/month) are more ethnically diverse and younger than the general survey population.
  • Demographics for the industry to watch are Black and Latinx, millennials and men.
  • Readers of audiobooks and ebooks are multitasking (70% for audiobooks, 61% for eBooks).
  • Book “pirates” are also customers: 41% of book pirates not only buy books, they also buy the same book in multiple formats.
  • Libraries, bookstores, and online channels mutually reinforce each other, leading to engagement and sales.


With financial support from OverDrive, the Book Industry Study Group, the American Library Association and the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Panorama Project commissioned Portland State University’s Dr. Rachel Noorda and Dr. Kathi Inman-Berens to design and conduct the study and author the resulting report.

 Methodology for the survey and the research questions were developed with guidance from industry leaders who serve on Panorama Project’s Research Committee.  Qualtrics hosted the survey and recruited over 4300 respondents.  Drs. Noorda and Inman-Berens ensured equitable representation of demographic groups by region (USA only), race/ethnicity, gender, and age.  The project was approved by Portland State University’s Institutional Review Board on Human Ethics.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.