Stora Enso conducted a study with 80 in-depth interviews in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America together with research company Opticom International.
May 3, 2018
As one of the leading book paper and cover providers, Stora Enso conducted a study with 80 in-depth interviews in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America together with research company Opticom International.
The aim was to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities regarding book publishing and consumption. Participants included publishers, retailers, printers, merchants and new players such as audio and e-book publishers as well as companies that transfer physical books into digital format.
E-books sales have been strong in the UK and US (approx. 20% of the market), but have stagnated in recent years and have not affected print sales as much as expected. In France and Germany e-books represent less than ten percent of the market. In emerging markets, the interest for e-books appears weaker, regardless of the rapid growth in tablet and smartphone users.
Audiobooks, on the other hand, continue to increase in sales, mostly via crime novels, true stories, biographies, romantic and erotic genres. However, the majority of the respondents see audiobooks as a compliment, not an alternative – consumers have a choice. In addition, there is no indication that Millennials would prefer digital more than older generations.
‘The more things go digital, the more value there is in the printed product’ is yet another finding! People want to have a counterweight to screen time. As one respondent put it, ‘The more things go digital, the more value there is in the printed product.’
Certain types of books it seems are meant to remain in paper format. Examples of these are hard cover books, including children’s books, photography books, books given as gifts and hobby related books such as Do It Yourself, gardening and cook books.