A recent study by Forrester has revealed a few interesting tidbits about the e-reading populace. Most important is perhaps the $966 million figure of total sales this last year. That’s a lot of money to be coming from what is at the moment a niche market.
But the more surprising statistic, I find, is that 35% of the people polled read e-books on their laptops. It literally never even occurred to me that people did this. Yet more people are doing that than have Kindles (32%), and if you add in netbooks, that’s a fair chunk of the e-reading population that doesn’t even use an e-reader. And they’re spending! This is the segment I’ve been saying needs to be targeted with a decent sub-$100 reader. The new Kindle is close but the next one will be closer.
And of course the laptop numbers must be sliding and the e-reader numbers rising, but it was still unexpected to me.
The people using e-readers are naturally a spendy bunch, and generate far more money per capita than the average person, who maybe reads two or three paperbacks a year and has a paper or magazine subscription. But the e-reader-owning people are also early adopters, so device makers will have to try harder to get the rest of the world to follow suit.