E-books established within the media mix

06/10/2015 - E-books established within the media mix

  • Bitkom survey: one out of four Germans reads digital books
  • Reading device trend leans towards smartphones and tablet computers
  • Alternative deployment models establish besides e-book shopping

Berlin, October 6, 2015

25 percent of Germans read digital books (e-books). The usage has only slightly increased compared to 2014. E-book users make 33 percent of the overall book reading population. This is one of the results of a representative survey carried out by Bitkom Research among 2,325 persons aged 14+ years on behalf of Bitkom prior to the Frankfurter Buchmesse. “E-books are a fixed component of today’s digital media world”, says Bitkom vice president Achim Berg. Nonetheless, the market’s potential has not been exhausted yet.

Non-users of e-books prefer the sensual appeal of printed books (49 percent) and consider the reading devices as too expensive (44 percent). However, 35 percent of non-users can image reading e-books in the future. Users especially value that e-books are available at any time (77 percent) and take no space (75 percent). E-books are mostly read on laptops (41 percent), followed by smartphones (38 percent) while one third uses special devices like Kindle, Tolino or Kobo. One out of five users reads e-books on a desktop computer or tablet computer. Online book shops like Amazon, buch.de or ebook.de are by far the most important supply sources. 24 percent order e-books in preinstalled shops on their device, e.g. Kindle store, Tolino shop or iBook store. Still, 13 percent shop directly at the author’s and 7 percent on publishers’ websites. In addition, 32 percent borrow e-books from public libraries.

The complete Bitkom press release (in German) is available here.

Katja Hampe, k.hampe[at]bitkom-research.de