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Some impressions about the e-book market

“In 2009, 200,000 book readers were bought in Russia”
"14 million readers, according to analysts, will be sold worldwide in 2013"


I try to follow the development of the market of electronic books and their culture of consumption. This is an area that is interesting both from the point of view of business and from the point of view of consumer psychology, it never ceases to please me, it can be said that the consumption of content and the evolution of consumers themselves in particular are evolving. In the network, and in Habré, there are plenty of articles by visionaries about the future of this sphere, there are many analysts about its past, and I will try to desublimate sparse facts from these articles and convey my own impression and vision of the phenomenon of electronic book circulation. Further, the narration will be incoherent, chaotic, non-objective, reading the stream of consciousness do not expect to see the semantic structure, but an attentive reader will think I think useful information from such a weakly structured source.
About ten years ago they probably beat ebuk on lips. Five years ago, the reader was considered a kitsch and a commodity for geeks. Three years ago, electronic ink became a welcome gadget. A year ago, the "reading room" turned into a lifestyle for many. Tomorrow "readers" will be the de facto standard. Or will not. But it is interesting to watch now

Disclaimer: I am not me and the hut is not mine. It will be about technical, scientific or educational books in the original and only in some places about fiction and translated versions. If you are not a start-up, looking for potential for improvement in everything, or do not share a keen interest in this market, then the rest may seem boring to you. And vto not afraid to welcome the cat

Since 2004, sales growth has become explosive, this is promoted on the one hand by the interest of publishers in direct distribution of content, on the other hand, increased comfort for the modern user. Due to the high threshold of entry into this business, the ebook retail market was divided mainly by major players - the Amazon-Google bipole and historically large bookstores (the same Barnes & Nobles, Acebooks, ebooks.com), the rest are not up to the strategy, they lead tactical battles among themselves and even with publishers. On the contrary, the market of content generation is conquered by small niche publishers, while the huge monster publishers are making positions.

- Earlier, large ones ate small ones, now fast eats slow ones.

With the release of eInk (displays optimal for reading books), the market is developing at a tremendous pace, new devices (readers) come out from different manufacturers weekly. But the rhythm is set by Amazon with its Kindle, which, thanks to broadband access anywhere in the world, allows you to receive books on your device with one click (the factor “hooked!” And the factor of spontaneity play a lot on Amazon's hand), and prices are set by the competitive struggle.

It's funny in itself that the content platform is far from being available to all major manufacturers of readers. There is room for maneuver new tech startups

If the Russian e-book market is generally a thing in itself and has a number of aggressive and not-so-gamblers, then the western market seems inert, despite rapid growth, the principles of work do not change (due to the licensing policy of publishers in the first place). There, e-books are sold at a price comparable to the original paper, often with DRM protection (inconvenient for the user). He who breaks stereotypes breaks the bank

Where is the profit?

If you focus on the word “where” - at the moment the most interesting sales markets are America (language, population solvency), Europe (England first and foremost, and Western Europe), but broad masses of other European countries (hudlit + tehlit for students and professionals ) is also actively watching and starting to want. A huge undervalued market today remains a number of developing countries, the former British colonies - “very middle” wealth is compensated by a high population and the need for educational literature (since there are no libraries there than there are, and education requirements are vice versa). Such countries include, for example, Nigeria, South Africa, other African oil countries, India with a huge population and parts of South America. The main problem in these regions, and in the market as a whole, is the lack of monetization schemes, apart from the actual unit sales at unrealistic prices.

If you focus on the word profit, then there are two directions - background processes and the actual sale of books and “accessories”

Demand is fueled by direct actions of the main culprits - Google Books, 10/30 Mio Books Project, Amazon (both the store and the Kindle),
Sony (historical leader of eInk readers), B & N (one of the largest US stores), Apple (iBooks). In the corporate market, interest is spurred
NetLibrary and company. The overall trend towards digitization is being promoted at every corner, but the implementation is lame in all the same
historical reasons - first of all, the fear of the publishers that the content will be copied, the complexity of the delivery in a convenient form (read from the screen
not everyone loves) etc. Google completed the project of digitizing 10 Mio books and took the bar 30Mio. Also, the largest libraries translate their funds into the figure.
and Western (library of Congress for example) and Russian (rsl.ru), the French have allocated huge budgets for digitization

On the last Christmas, electronic reading rooms became the best-selling product in the USA! Okay, the Americans - we are looking at the central book exhibition in Frankfurt, more conservative - a lot of digital stands, seminars, etc., etc. Even according to the old data of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (a legendary auditor and market analyst), the electronic version will be the most successful in the field of scientific and specialized literature. 3 out of 10 surveyed exhibitors already use electronic versions instead of paper ones
The average global growth of the market for electronic books in recent years is about 70% per year !!! .. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the number of buyers of electronic versions of books in early 2009 increased from 10% to 40%. In other words, when the buyer has the opportunity to choose whether to buy him a paper book or an electronic one, in 35% of cases he chooses an electronic edition. And the share of such buyers is growing.

If you leave the bread and circuses at the discretion of other competent people, people still want the infrastructure to conveniently receive digital reading, readers have entered the affordable price segment, 3/4 of smartphones can be used for reading with sufficient comfort. Every self-respecting store attended here with his crutch

Who are we going to be friends against?
Paper must die! The price should be an advantage over the paper version, but the Americans are holding on to the sinking ship with an enviable persistence and everything leads to a crisis similar to mp3. The only thing that saves them is free, not covered with copyright books, i.e. all that is older than 70 years, and therefore all the classics.

The second largest competitor of beeches and the main factor in the growth of the reader market are pirated sources of content. Here, the market is saved only by the holy laziness of users and the curvature of current technologies:
- difficult to download for an ordinary user (all sorts of rapidshare with corrupted links are for advanced ones)
- 90% of warez sites are not designed for books - there are no tools for choosing a book, there is no sensible search, the main thing is no assortment
- downloading a book, the user receives only a book, not a tool and not content to solve his problem
- they don’t take any support, do not take money and users don’t help, working with digital copies for ordinary users, however, is not yet intuitive
Their advantage is free, their inheritance is experienced users of the Internet. Of course, there is an intersection with a typical client with a book lover, but it has not yet reached a critical mass, since There are practically no professional book sites in Burzhunet, there are only popular file hacks à la gigapedia, avaxhome, flaxz
They will be the main competition in the market of developing countries, but not in Europe and the States.

In this sense, the statistics of books by Den Brown are interesting, which went online on the day of sales, but did not bring down the market, because consumers are not so much law-abiding as they are lazy, uninteresting and inclined to convenience: it is easier for them to buy an e-book than to rummage through the Web in search of pirated copy, on that keeps a shaky balance of power

More numbers, beautiful and different

What is not, but I would like to - sales through PayPerUse / DRM, sales through opsos, sales by thematic subscriptions, lowcost segment, monetization through in-line advertising, platforms for public domain services, platforms for creating your own bookstores.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/103090/

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