Tablet torrent to turn the tide to triple ebook sales

Massive growth in tablet ownership over the next four years will bring about a sea-change in the book market with ebooks toppling print books in terms of revenue by 2018.

A new report from PwC says tablet ownership will more than triple and users will turn to ebooks.

It says the UK consumer ebook market will triple over the next four years to be worth £1bn, overtaking paperback and hardback books, which are forecast to fall by around 30% to about £900m.

Ebook sales in the UK over the four-year period are expected to triple from £380m last year to the £1bn mark in 2018.

Globally, tablet ownership will rise from around 400 million in 2013 to 1.4 billion in 2018 while print book revenues will fall to under $50bn and ebook revenues will increase to over $65bn.

Internationally, China is expected to become the second-biggest ebook market in the world, overtaking Japan this year and German in 2017. At $13bn, China will then still be worth less than a third of the US market, which is the runaway leader in the ebook market with a forecast of $37bn.

All-you-can-read subscription services to be ‘transformational’

Another section of the global entertainment and media outlook says all-you-can-read subscription services will be transformational. Although they still have to gain traction, PwC says users of subscription services and aggregators will soon reach critical mass.

The survey claims there will be fast growth in digital magazine advertising, with digital consumer magazine advertising revenue becoming much bigger than digital circulation.

Global digital consumer magazine advertising revenue is forecast at $12.4bn in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate of over 17%, while digital circulation revenue is estimated at only $5.7bn in the same year. Advertising is currently centred on magazine websites, but electronic editions will become increasingly popular for advertisers.

Overall internet advertising is set to grow by nearly 11% a year and PwC says a significant tipping point is approaching as internet advertising is poised to overtake TV advertising by 2018.

PwC global entertainment and media outlook 2014-2018