Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Frankfurt Book Fair survey finds that 2018 could be the year that digital sales surpass print

A recent survey of 840 international managers and executives from the publishing industry found that 2018 could be the year that digital sales surpass print sales. According to the survey conducted by the Frankfurt Book Fair, about 50% the respondents said that 2018 would be the “turning point” year. This number is up from 40% in the 2008 survey. It should be noted that U.S. Market is perceived to be ahead of the world market so digital sales in the U.S. could surpass print in less time.

The study also showed that 60% of respondents estimate that less than 10% of their revenue will come from digital sources in 2009. However by 2011, 41% believe that digital could account for up to 10% of their sales and 58% of respondents anticipate that digital sales will make up “a considerably higher share of total sales.”

The number of respondents that believe that digital will never overtake print has also decreased five percentage points from the 2008 survey to 22%. In addition, 80 percent of respondents said they embrace “the radical change” of digital and do not see it as a threat.

In regards to the pricing of e-books, the results showed that the industry is divided amongst the many possible pricing models for e-books. However, 79% of respondents believe that pricing model should make e-books cheaper than the printed version by either 10%, 20%, 30%, more than 30%, a standard price such as Amazon, or another pricing model. In comparison, 15% of the respondents said the digital version should be as expensive as the printed book and 4% said it should be more expensive.

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