Pew Research and NPD suggest tablets replacing e-readers and traditional print

Dec 27, 2012
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Pew Research and NPD suggest tablets replacing e-readers and traditional print

According to NPD analyst Stephen Baker, it's "the beginning of the end" for traditional e-readers, and according to Pew Research's most recent findings, it's full-color tablets that are replacing the segment - with traditional print dying out as well. According to Pew's newest survey, 23% of Americans ages 16 and older say they've read a real e-book over the past 12 months, this number jumping 16% compared to last year. This number becomes especially significant given their finding that number of people (16 and up) that read a printed book in the same amount of time fell 5% year-over-year.

Only 67% of the respondents questioned in this most recent survey by Pew said they'd read a real book (paper, print, that is) in the past 12 months. Take the number of Americans 16 and older that own a tablet, according to Pew, and you'll see a possible reason why paper books are getting less popular: 25% - one in four! This number rose a whopping 10% from the same period of time surveyed in 2011.

Pew also showed that the number of respondents who said they owned an e-book reader (aka an e-reader, of course), rose from 10% to 19% this year compared to last. This tells us that though e-readers aren't gaining popularity as well as the full tablet, they're still on the up-and-up. Perhaps Stephen Baker is wrong?

"We are still in the early stages of the transition. It's a big deal for the publishing industry, in the same way that the transition to digital news was a big deal for the newspaper business in the late '90, and the same way Napster was a big deal to the music industry in the early 2000s." - Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project

NPD also reports that they've estimated 33 million tablet computers have been sold "through November 2012". NPD's Baker assures the world that devices with displays smaller than 8 inches seem well suited to reading. But you be the judge: what do you think is about to happen over the next few years with e-reading in general? Will any one media be cut out entirely?

Pew's survey is based on 2,252 Americans age 16 and older from Oct. 15 to Nov. 10 in 2012 in this case, just so you're aware. They've also come to the conclusion that those that have a college degree, lived in a household with more than $75,000 in earnings, and were aged from 30 to 49 were most likely to have read an e-book. Sound about right to you?

[via LA Times]


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