Tablets, e-readers closing book on ink-and-paper era
"Tablet computers and electronic readers promise to eventually close the book on the ink-and-paper era as they transform the way people browse magazines, check news or lose themselves in novels.
"It is only a matter of time before we stop killing trees and all publications become digital," Creative Strategies president and principal analyst Tim Bajarin told AFP.
Online retail giant Amazon made electronic readers mainstream with Kindle devices and Apple ignited insatiable demand for tablets ideal for devouring online content ranging from films to magazines and books.
The combined momentum of e-readers and tablets will push annual revenue from digital books to $9.7 billion by the year 2016, more than tripling the $3.2 billion tally expected this year, according to a Juniper Research report.
Readers are showing increased loyalty to digital books, according to the US Book Industry Study Group (BISG).
Nearly half of print book buyers who also got digital works said they would skip getting an ink-and-paper release by a favorite author if an electronic version could be had within three months, a BISG survey showed.
"The e-book market is developing very fast, with consumer attitudes and behaviors changing over the course of months, rather than years," said BISG deputy executive director Angela Bole.
Concerns about e-book reading are diminishing, with people mainly wishing for lower device prices, according to the survey.
Owning e-readers tended to ramp up the amount of money people spent on titles in what BISG described as a promising sign for publishers."