eBook sales have flattened out or even begun to decrease in North America and the UK. This isn’t the case in Australia though, where in the last two years the industry has seen rapid growth.
In the 12 months to September 2014, 7.0% of Australians aged 14+ bought at least one eBook via the internet in an average three months. Australians aged between 35 and 49 are the most likely to have bought eBooks, with 9.1% doing so in an average 3 months, slightly up from the previous year (8.7%). During the same period, the proportion of this age group that read a book (either fiction or non-fiction, print or digital) increased from 55.0% to 56.7%.
The proportion of Australians aged 18-24 buying eBooks online in any given three-month period has also increased, from 3.9% in 2013 to 5.1% in 2014 — despite being the only age group to have seen a decrease in reading incidence (from 55.3% to 53.3%).
Meanwhile, the 65+ age group showed a growing willingness to adopt this new technology, with the proportion purchasing eBooks rising from 4.1% to 5.4% — a higher proportion than some of the younger age groups that have grown up in the digital age. Reading books in general also increased among this older demographic, from 64.5% to 67.1%.