UK ebook purchases fall to lowest since 2012

UK e-book purchases fell to their lowest level since 2012 last year after a record year in 2020, reports the Bookseller.

Data from Nielsen BookData, however, shows that estimated spending on e-books remains above 2012, 2013 and 2019 levels due to higher prices paid. It shows that 80 million ebooks were downloaded in 2021, with one in five books purchased being an ebook, which in total accounts for 13% of the overall market value. This figure was down from 95 million in 2020.

On the other hand, print book sales followed the gains made in 2020 and audiobooks hit record numbers again in 2021.

eBooks’ share of fiction fell to 43%, still ahead of the format’s overall market share, but down from 50% the previous year, with declines across all genres of fiction. However, a number of categories remain more likely to be purchased digitally, with the highest eBook shares found in erotic fiction (61%), romance (59%), adventure/war stories (50%), crime and thriller (47%), historical (44%) and science fiction (44%).

E-books accounted for 12% of non-fiction sales, consistent with 2019 levels, and just 3% of the children’s market, down slightly from 4% in 2018-20.

Category: International News