The global online book services market size was valued at USD 21.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 30.2 billion grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% from 2020 to 2027. Increasing consumers inclination towards reading books online or e-book rather than print one, coupled with the growing use of smartphones and tablets, is spawning more and more digital readers.
This is expected to fuel the growth of the global market over the forecast period. In the past several years, digital readers or e-readers have gained popularity with a variety of consumers. Retirees who are looking forward to downsizing their homes and aiming to live a minimalist life to students who are tired of carrying around a backpack full of books are highly inclining towards online books, which offer the utmost convenient reading experience. 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.
In terms of value, the trade product segment dominated the market with a share of 70.0% in 2020 and is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Most of the genres such as fiction, non-fiction, literature, and young children’s books to name a few are covered under this segment. Growing consumers’ inclination towards digitally reading of these books is foreseen to fuel segment growth in the coming years. Romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy are some of the popular genres amongst the consumers and their easy availability over the internet is likely to fuel segment growth in the coming years. As per the 2017 Author Earnings report, over 70% of all genre fiction consumer purchases are now in eBook format.
The education product segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027. The emergence of digital education and interactive learning systems is foreseen to fuel segment growth over the forecast period. Online books are easily accessible and known to simplify and enhance the overall learning experience. Digital books also make the learning process more interactive and engaging. Bringing digital technology into classrooms has had a positive impact on the quality of education delivered. Students and teachers have unanimously agreed upon the benefits of using online books in education. In addition, online books are easy to carry around instead of carrying a bag full of books and are economical as compared to paper books. These factors are expected to boost segment growth over the forecast period.
The online book services market is segmented on the basis of product and region. By product the market is divided into Trade, Education, Science, Technology& Medicine (STM).
North America dominated the global market by accounting for a 36.9% share in 2020. The rise in online book sales and free eBook downloads is a direct result of the increase in smartphone, tablet, and e-reader users. As per bankmycell.com, in 2020, over 260 million people in the U.S. had a smartphone and this number is likely to surge in the coming years. High internet penetration, coupled with a shift in preference among tech-savvy users from traditional books to online books, is expected to drive the market in the coming years.
In North America, the United States is foreseen to hold a dominant market share and projected to expand at a notable CAGR over the forecast period. In 2017, it is estimated that e-book user penetration in the U.S. has reached over 27%, amounting to around 90 million people. The most prolific e-book readers in the U.S. are millennials (ages 18 to 29), making up 34% of all digital book readers.
Amazon; Apple; Barnes & Noble; Kobo; Google; Smashwords, Inc.; HarperCollins Publishers; Hachette Book Group; Lulu Press, Inc.; Scribd, Inc.