By Ingrid SüßmannGermany appears to be the next market to see a slowdown in ebook sales and market share, according to the latest Ebook Quarterly Report from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, in cooperation with GfK Entertainment. As in the US and the UK, Germany’s ebook sales hit a plateau in the first quarter of 2016.
These new numbers show that while the ebook share of total book sales revenue (not including school books and reference books) made up 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015, it was at 5.4 percent during the same period in 2016.
The number of ebook buyers reportedly stayed constant (2.2 million people, or 3.3 percent of the population). And although demand for ebooks has risen by a steady 6.3 percent compared to last year—meaning that ebook users bought and read more books than before—revenue is still down for the first quarter of 2016.
Why? Lower ebook prices. Ebooks now cost 5.9 percent less on average than in 2015, with the average ebook selling for €6.60 (US$7.48) instead of €7.01 (US$7.95). Once again, this raises the question of whether it’s better to sell ebooks for a lower price, reaching more readers and generating more sales, or if the overall turnover is what really counts.
Below is an infographic from the German Publishers and Booksellers Association showing the Q1 numbers for 2016, in comparison with Q1 of 2015:
After every quarter of the year, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, in cooperation with GfK Entertainment, releases its Ebook Quarterly Report to shed a light on the state of the German ebook market. The numbers are representative projections from a study by the GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung) in which 25,000 people are polled, representing the German residential population older than age 10.
Further information on the state of the German Ebook Market can be found in these articles:
- Ebook Market Share in Germany Shows Slow Growth (December 2015)
- Germany: A Nation of Readers? (July 2015)
- Do German Readers Prefer Print Books? (July 2015)
- German Ebook Sales Reaches 4.3% Of Overall Book Market (June 2015)