April 11, 2016 Last Updated 10:27 am

New report projects US eBook market to reach $13B by 2020

Report from Technavio says the eBook market in the US will grow by close to 14 percent between now and 2020, running somewhat contrary to some reports coming for book publishing organizations

This new report on the eBook market in the US wouldn’t be of much interest if it came from a major eBook publisher, Amazon, or some other organization with an obvious vested interest in putting a happy face on things. But it comes from Technavio Research and seems to run counter to the news being reported by much of the trade press that eBook sales are actually declining.

eBook-400Many people don’t believe it. Yes, since the major book publishers began to raise prices on eBooks, making them far less attractive an alternative to print, sales do appear to have fallen… at those publishers. But are they falling overall? Many don’t think the numbers being reported by the trade association representing publishers presents a complete picture, leaving out not only eBooks being sold by self-publishers, but also those from Amazon’s own imprint.

I guess I have been around long enough to have seen the last time traditional media looked at the digital side of things and pronounced the resurgence of print. After all, didn’t the bursting of the dot.com bubble in 2000 spell the end of the Internet?

Here is the announcement from Technavio on the US eBook market. By the way, don’t confuse Technavio, the market research company, with Technavia, the ePublishing platform.

LONDON, UK – April 11, 2016 — According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the e-book market in the US is set to surpass USD 13 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of close to 14%.

This research report titled ‘E-book Market in the US 2016-2020’ provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up to date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

Request sample report: http://goo.gl/pSfhhY

Based on the type of product, Technavio analysts have segmented the e-book market in the US into three categories:

  • Nonfiction
  • Juvenile
  • Fiction


The nonfiction segment includes genres such as biography and autobiography, essay, narrative nonfiction, and textbooks. Nonfiction e-books are priced higher than other categories, and owing to this factor, the nonfiction e-book category dominated the market in 2015 with a share of 39.59%. “The market is also driven by strong sales of religious nonfiction e-books. While young adults prefer reading fiction over nonfiction, the older population of the country, aged 55 and above, mostly opts for nonfiction books,” says Brijesh Kumar Choubey, a lead analyst at Technavio for retail goods and services.

The population segment aged 65 years and above accounted for 14.5% of the total population of the country in 2014. Between 2012 and 2050, the US will likely experience considerable growth in its older population, and the projected population aged 65 years and over is 83.7 million for 2050, which is almost double the population of 43.1 million in 2012. This shift in the demography of the country toward the older population will likely increase the demand for nonfiction books.


In recent years, the e-book format has been growing as a percentage of all books purchased. The share of e-books increased to 21% in 2014 from 14% in 2013. With the increasing interest of children in books, especially e-books, at a younger age, the sale of juvenile fiction e-books is on the rise. The rising demand for high-quality graphical content, especially for children’s books, has further augmented the penetration and use of tablets, iPads, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Usborne Publishing is a popular publisher of children’s e-books.

“Book brands like Beast Quest, Young Bond, and Arthur Quinn have their own dedicated websites with features like activities, downloads, and online fan clubs. These initiatives, as well as the growing popularity of e-books in the country, will exert a positive impact on the growth of this segment over the next five years,” says Brijesh.


The fiction e-book segment includes genres like drama, classic, horror, humor, mystery, science fiction, and fairy tales. Sales in this segment are driven by factors such as a wider customer base and high demand for romance e-books. Publishers focus more on science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance fiction, owing to their high popularity in the country. In 2012-2013, Random House and HarperCollins launched their first digital-only imprints; all of them are focused on fiction.

However, many fiction e-books that are published non-traditionally, including self-published e-books, are available at a low price or even for free. As these books are priced much lower than traditionally published e-books, the growth of this section is slow, which could hinder market growth over the next five years. These non-traditionally-published books made up approximately 60% of all Kindle e-books purchased in the US in 2015, but generated only 40% of the total revenue.

The top vendors highlighted by Technavio’s research analysts in this report are:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo

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Photo: TXTR lecteur ebook by ActuaLitté used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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