Ebook Revenues Surpass Hardcovers for First Time, Report Reveals

The proliferation of tablets, ereaders, smartphones and laptops is stimulating the demand for eBooks.

In the US, the Association of American Publishers released a report showing that ebooks have surpassed hardcover revenues for the first time.

Ebook revenues topped out at $282.3 million so far in 2012 while hardcovers hit $229.6. One year ago, US ebook revenues were at $220 million and hardcovers at $335 million.

It appears that the only growth in hardcovers is in the sub-sector of young adult/children, where hardcover revenue rose to $187.7 million and children’s ebooks rose to $64.3 million, up from $3.9 million in 2011. Download Audio also did well with a growth of 32.7% for 2012 year-to-date.

Total trade revenue rose 27.1% over the past year. Indeed, PaidContent predicts that North America ebook revenues could reach up to $11 billion by 2016. Asia and Western Europe should be second and third in the ebook global market.

According to BWM Books, the Canadian ebook market in 2012 is characterized by around 15 million smartphones users, 10.5 million desktop and laptop users, five million tablet users and four million ereader users. 

It appears that tablets and ereaders are doing to print what the iPod and iTunes did to music: changing the way people buy and consume content.