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Thrillers, science fiction and fantasy top the list

GfK Panel Services analyzes the German market for eBooks

(PresseBox) (Nuremberg, ) According to calculations prepared by GfK Panel Services for the Frankfurt Book Fair, eBooks made up 0.7% of total German book sales in the first half of 2011 and reached a volume of almost EUR 13 million. This already represents 60% of full-year sales in the prior year.

eBooks are big sellers in many countries, including the USA. In Germany, however, electronic books have not yet been able to find a mass market, but sales are rising.

In the first half of 2011, a fifth of the total book market sales in Germany were generated via online shops - a sales channel that is increasing in im-portance. As well as ordering printed books, volumes can be downloaded as a file directly from the internet. The download market in Germany has been noticeably gathering momentum since the second half-year 2010 and has just registered further growth. The sector recorded sales of EUR 187 million in total with downloads of music, audio books, software, games, videos and eBooks. This represents a 31% increase on the first half-year 2010. Volume sales also rose significantly by 30% to almost 60 million files. eBook sales accounted for 6% of the total download market.

Between January and June 2011, Germans spent almost EUR 13 million on eBooks (excluding school and reference books) and bought a total of 1.4 million titles. This already represents 60% of the previous year's sales and the Christmas trade is yet to come. The number of buyers totaled approx-imately 340,000 individuals, with the typical eBook customer being male and aged between 30 and 49.

In terms of genres, focus initially lay on infotainment eBooks, such as travel, advice or non-fiction books. However, since Christmas 2010, the trend has shifted towards fiction, which now constitutes 80% of all eBooks purchased. The most popular fiction categories are thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. Printed light fiction accounts for just under 50% of sales.

The potential of eBooks is currently growing and is likely to intensify further when the number of German titles offered is increased. A survey on the topic of e-readers showed that in July 2011 almost 800,000 Germans owned an e-reader, compared to just 380,000 in January 2011. Since eBooks can also be read on tablet PCs, the number of potential eBook readers is increased by a further 1.5 million.

Further information: Simone Zinner, GfK Panel Services Deutschland, tel. +49 911 395-3013,

The survey

The analysis is based on findings from GfK Media*Scope, which continuously surveys 25,000 consumers in Germany (as at 2011) about their media market purchases (music, games, cinema, videos, books). The results are used to generate projections for the whole German population over the age of ten. In January/July 2011, 20,000 people were interviewed in an additional ad hoc survey on the topic of e-readers and tablet PCs.


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