France's ebook market: new research into buying and reading habits

The fifth SOFIA/SNE/SGDL survey on France's ebook reading and purchasing habits shows a growing market. We reveal the key trends.

The survey, which monitors the development of e-book consumption habits compared with print, is organized by France's publishers' association (SNE), its collective management organization for public lending right and private copying remuneration (SOFIA) and authors' association (SGDL). It has become a useful annual barometer for authors, publishers and the wider book industry.

The 2015 survey was conducted by Opinion Way between 5 and 23 February 2015, with a first sample of 2015 people (aged 15 and over) who were interviewed by telephone, and a second sample of 510 e-book readers who were interviewed online.

The following trends stand out:

1. The number of e-book readers is increasing

The results show a slight increase (+ 3%) in the number of e-book readers, who now account for 18% of the French population. This trend is consistent with the growth in sales of tablets and, to a lesser extent, e-readers.

2. Smartphones are increasingly being used for reading

Reading via smartphone increased by 5 percentage points compared to last year: 27% of e-book readers are now reading on their phones. E-book readers read across multiple devices. 39% read on tablets, 36% read on laptops and 23% on e-readers. 62% of respondents had read a print book during the last month.

3. E-book purchases per reader are up

20% (+2% from last year) of respondents buy at least 4 e-books per year. The majority of people, however, estimate that in the coming years their e-book purchases will neither increase nor decrease.

The survey reveals that e-book reading rates are increasing slowly, compared to the steady growth in device ownership. It also reveals that e-book readers continue to read in print, and that reading habits are not changing. 62% of respondents say they read the same amount of books, and 64% say they spend the same amount on books, since they first started reading e-books.

The 2015 study is available for download at:

www.la-sofia.org la Société Française des Intérêts des Auteurs de l'écrit (SOFIA)

www.sne.fr le Syndicat national de l'édition (SNE)

www.sgdl.org la Société des Gens de Lettres (SGDL)

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