E-book and e-reader markets continue to grow

The e-book and e-reader markets are continuing to move forward at a rapid pace according to  a new report.

The research by Futuresource Consulting has said these markets will continue to grow thanks to the increasing availability of e-book services, e-reading devices and the recent launch of tablets such as the iPad.

Fiona Hoy, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, said: “In 2010, the global e-book market grew by more than 200 percent to exceed 90 million paid-for units.”

“This equates to a value of more $900 million and was largely attributable to growth in the US region, which represented more than 80 percent of global revenues last year.”

Over in the US, Futuresource Consulting attributed the growth and consumer adoption mainly to Amazon’s strategy on key e-book titles purchased through the Kindle store and Kindle app.

It said moving forward, the global balance would begin to shift, with the USA contributing just over half of global revenues by 2014.

In 2010 the Western Europe region held nearly 10 percent of global e-book revenues, while the UK market took the lead. However, it may have to watch its back as Germany is claimed to be making some steady market gains. The Spanish market however is struggling. It’s seeing the same challenges of piracy that it saw in the pre-recorded CD and DVD industry.

All things considered Europe isn’t doing too badly. This is because for many countries in this region 2010 was the first year e-readers were readily available to buy.

But sparse local language titles and limited paid-for e-book services act as obstacles to legitimate paid-for e-book market growth. This is now changing, meaning we can expect to see around $6 billion in revenues from this region in 2014, the company added.

We all still love a freebie, with Futuresource finding that legally free e-books such as those which are out of copyright, play an important role in this industry despite turning customers off from paid-for sales in the UK and USA.  

Google will help with the launch of its Google eBook service in Europe, having a big impact in the market and offering millions of free legitimate titles alongside paid-for content. It’s not such good news for Apple however, which didn’t fare as well as Amazon in the US e-book market last year.

Amazon established a similar position in the UK despite only entering the market in August 2010.