Great article over at paidContent. They predict that by 2015, e-books will be a three billion dollar industry (they are a one billion dollar industry right now).
I’ve seen a lot of numbers, but these numbers are new, and pretty interesting:
e-book buying falls very low down on this list of how people acquire books. Just 7% of online adults who read books read e-books. But that 7% happens to be a very attractive bunch: they read the most books and spend the most money on books. And here’s the kicker – the average e-book reader already consumes 41% of books in digital form. Oh, and that includes the people who don’t have an e-reader yet, which is nearly half of them. For those that have a Kindle or other e-reader, they read 66% of their books digitally.
The article also points out the fact that other industries, such as music and film, have various ways to make money. Musicians can sell CDs, hold concerts, sell shirts, sell rights to their music, etc. Movies make money in ticket sales, foreign ticket sales, DVDs, licensed merchandise, etc.
But authors can sell books. There is really not another revenue stream. Which means once e-books really arrive, the whole model will adjust, which leads the author of the article to conclude that e-books may become the most digital of all the industries, even though were the last ones to the party.