Global E-Books market was valued at US$29.252 billion in 2019. E-books also known as electronic books are referred to as those books that are published in digital forms so as to be viewed or read on mobile devices such as smartphones, PCs and laptops, e-readers, and tablets among others. These books consist of similar content available on printed textbooks such as texts, images, and graphics among others. The primary factors that are driving the e-books market growth include the rapid penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices among others across the various developed economies of the globe. Also, the ability of these books to offer similar satisfaction to the users is also simply driving its adoption among a greater technologically equipped population, especially in the developed economies. Additionally, the growing focus of the governments of various countries towards the protection of the environment has been leading to many campaigns for saving the trees and reduce the use of paper is also propelling the opportunities for the market to grow in the near future.
The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease is also anticipated to be a key factor boosting the demand for e-books during the short run as numerous government measures such as lockdowns and social distancing in many countries to prevent the spread of this deadly virus is projected to push the adoption of e-books among the reading enthusiasts as the closure of public libraries and various retail booksellers will significantly augment the adoption of e-books and thereby positively impact the e-books market growth during the period of next eight to ten months.
Rising penetration of mobile devices and growing internet penetration are significantly driving the market growth
Growing penetration of mobile and portable computing devices like smartphones and tablet PCs is expected to spur the growth of the e-books market in the forecast period. The rapid adoption of smartphones and e-readers has been continuously increasing the demand for e-books as these can be stored and kept for longer periods of time unlike printed books, that have to be purchased and after its completion remains of no use.
According to the data from the World Bank, mobile penetration is highest in Europe and the Americas, followed by the Asia Pacific and Middle-east and Africa regions. Thus, leading to greater adoption of various online books in the North American and the European regions.
The growth is fastest in the Asia Pacific, especially in China and India where more and more people are gaining access to smartphones and mobile internet connectivity every day. The entry of Reliance Jio in Indian in the year 2016 disrupted the whole mobile internet connectivity market, reducing the prices heavily, which in turn, fuelled the demand for more smartphones and other mobile devices. Thus, the availability of cheaper and faster internet services in the developing economies around the globe is further providing and impetus for the market to surge in the coming years.
Also, the major factor that has led to the deep penetration of the internet among the general population is the rapid increase in the number of smartphone users, on account of growing smartphone shipment over the past decade, and thus improving the internet penetration rapidly, more specifically in the developing economies. According to the World Bank, the percentage of the population using the internet increased from 6.77% in 2000 to 49.723% in 2017. Simultaneously, the number of households with broadband access has increased significantly in both developed and developing economies. For instance, in the United States, the number of fixed broadband subscriptions reached 110,568,000 by 2018 from 84,552,000 in 2010, similarly, in China, it increased from 126,337,000 in 2010 to 407,382,000 by 2018(Source: The World Bank Group).
Perception towards printed books
The effective adoption and use of e-books are hindered due to the concerns regarding the satisfaction of printed books and the lack of knowledge regarding these books in many underdeveloped countries. Moreover, the perception regarding the lack of availability of the internet and the availability of platforms for these books in underdeveloped nations is further limiting the adoption of e-books. There is still a significant proportion of readers that favors traditional printed books over e-books due to the fact that it provides them higher satisfaction.
Furthermore, the lack of awareness about various online platforms has also hindered its demand. In many cases, digital books have only been subjected to reading through the usage of mobile devices and internet connectivity, especially in developing economies and thus has resulted in its adoption to a specific group that has these facilities.
The global e-books market has been segmented on the basis of platform, type, and geography. On the basis of platform, the market has been segmented into smartphones and tablets, PCs and Laptops, and e-readers. On the basis of type, the segmentation has been done on the basis of consumer e-books and educational e-books. Geographically, the market has been classified into North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.
North America to hold a significant market share
Geographically, the North American region is projected to hold a noteworthy share in the e-books market primarily on the account of early adoption of technology and well-established internet infrastructure in countries like the United States and Canada. Furthermore, the presence of key market players such as Amazon is also bolstering the significant share of this region in the global market. Also, the wide acceptance of digital reading methods in the region is also driving the growth of the e-books market in the North American region.
Prominent key market players in the E-Books market include Amazon, HarperCollins Publishers and Rakuten Kobo Inc among others. These companies hold a noteworthy share in the market on account of their good brand image and product Platforms.
Major players in the E-Booksmarket have been covered along with their relative competitive position and strategies. The report also mentions recent deals and investments of different market players over the last two years.