Digital book adoption rate is growing in Germany with many people now own a dedicated e-reader or at least are considering buying one. In a recent annual survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute, one very interesting factor is evident: Germans consume more audiobooks than ebooks.
In the last twelve months, close to five million customers have purchased an audiobook, which accounts for 7% of the overall population. This is one of the hottest segments currently operating in Germany and ironically gets the least amount of attention. The bulk of mainstream media tends to focus on digital books and this segment is also growing. It is approximated that 4% of Germans over 14 years of age have an e-reader, equating to about 3.66 million people. A further 3.5% or 2.5 million people plan to purchase a reader within the next two years. According to Media Control, in 2012 close to 12 million ebooks were purchased.
People in Germany obviously love to read! Three million people have read more than twenty books in the last year and over five million people read ten to nineteen. Over fourteen million people have read at least a few books. Price really matters and it tends to play a major role in Germany. Nearly one-third of all book sales are paperbacks. This could, in the future, sway more people to pick up the digital edition sooner, due to the low prices and fast availability.
Digital reading should increase in Germany due to the sheer amount of major players entering the market and launching promotional campaigns. Kobo and Amazon are both firmly entrenched and local companies, such as Txtr, are seeing record sales. Major initiatives are being launched by Deutsche Telekom and Thalia to sell e-readers at the retail level and also ebooks.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.