The global online book services market size is anticipated to reach USD 27.8 billion by 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., expanding at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2020 to 2027. The rising number of digitally-savvy readers, coupled with increasing usage of smartphones and tablets for reading books online, is likely to spur market growth.
The online books are gaining significant popularity over traditional books owing to easy accessibility online and convenience offered. As per the independent research, e-book penetration was 10.5% in 2018 and is expected to reach around 12% by 2022. Besides, a growing number of adults who own either a tablet, smartphone, or an e-reader device is expected to create a positive outlook for the market in the coming years.
Although e-book subscription services have existed for several years and currently, they are witnessing significant traction. Subscription services are known to give users access to huge, deep catalogs of content at a fixed monthly price. Very few players in the market have achieved a level of success in generating revenue through these models, for instance, as of 2020, Amazon has over 2.5 million and Scribd, Inc. has 1 million paying subscribers. However, other major players are channelizing on this model to gain a competitive edge in the market.
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Several players operating in the market are focusing on strategic measures to reach a large number of consumers to boost revenue growth. For instance, in May 2020, Media Do Holdings announced that it is planning to enable blockchain e-books distribution. The company specializes in the distribution of digital products, like e-books, and upon seeing significant sales before and after the lockdown order, the company is looking to invest approximately USD 2.8 million for the blockchain e-books distribution project. The company added that the blockchain e-books distribution would be introduced first to My Anime List, which is considered the world’s biggest social community and database for anime and manga.
Online Book Services Market Report Highlights
- The trade product segment is expected to reach USD 20.0 billion by 2027
- Asia Pacific is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period with a revenue-based CAGR of 7.1% from 2020 to 2027.
- The key market players are focusing on strategic initiatives such as blockchain distribution to reach a larger consumer base
However, the low penetration of smartphones and similar devices in emerging countries can lead to low sales of online books, which is ultimately likely to impede market growth up to some extent over the forecast period. By product type, the trade segment is projected to remain at the forefront in terms of share and growth rate over the forecast period. Many consumers are inclined towards reading fiction, non-fiction, and literature among others. Easy availability of such books online at minimum prices is foreseen to drive its demand in the coming years.
Asia Pacific is foreseen to expand at a maximum CAGR of 7.1% over the forecast period. Growing usage of smartphones and similar devices, rising internet penetration, and growing consumers’ preference for online books over printed ones are likely to fuel market growth in the coming years. In addition, closure of non-essential business amidst pandemics, such as physical bookstores and schools, as an effort to curtail the spread of the virus has surged the demand for online books. For instance, in April 2020, during the lockdown period, the Media Do Holdings recorded a 20% year-on-year growth on the sales of digital books.
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Online books also make learning easy for users because most online editions include dictionaries, appendices, character summaries, and more. Thus, easy navigation i.e. by just clicking on a name or an unknown word, user can quickly find out more information that will make reading easier. This is also a great feature for kids who are learning to read. These factors are expected to drive the demand for online book services in the coming years.
The demand for online books is growing on account of exponentially increasing the sale of digital products each year. For instance, in May 2020, Walmart has released new versions of its Onn tablets, starting at USD 99 and including some uncommon features for Android tablets in that price range. The tablets run Android 10 and use USB-C to charge, and come with several Walmart apps preloaded, including the Walmart app, Vudu, Sam’s Club, and Walmart eBooks.
The global pandemic and the closure of most bookstores across the world are driving up eBook adoption. As per the Good e-Reader’s blog, in May 2020, over 2 million new users have registered with Kobo during the pandemic. The e-reader version of a book is less expensive than a hardcover or paperback and many online book providers offer huge discounts on books, thus attracting first time buyers. Moreover, an online book is an eco-friendly option as it contributes to the reduction in paper consumption used for paper books. Online books can be easily downloaded and can be stored on the device. It is likely to propel the market growth over the forecast period.
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The market is characterized by the presence of various established players. The impact of these leading companies on the market is quite high as most of them have a global reach and a large consumer base. In addition, the global market comprises midsize and small size players, which mostly serve regional customers and can be characterized by the selected portfolio of online book services. Most of the leading players are focusing on strategic partnerships to expand their reach and widen their consumer base. For instance, in March 2020, the Kobo had announced a strategic alliance with Australia’s largest online bookseller, Booktopia. This agreement will see Rakuten Kobo become Booktopia’s exclusive digital reading partner, providing eBooks, audiobooks, and eReaders to Booktopia’s Australian customers. Some of the prominent players in the online book services market include:
- Barnes & Noble
- Smashwords, Inc.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Hachette Book Group
- Lulu Press, Inc.
- Scribd, Inc.
Grand View Research has segmented the global online book services market on the basis of product:
Online Book Services Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 – 2027)
- Science, Technology & Medicine (STM)
About Grand View Research
Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. To help clients make informed business decisions, we offer market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a range of industries, from technology to chemicals, materials and healthcare.
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