Over the years the ebook market has grown from a relatively obscure niche to a thrilling billion-dollar mass market. The total ebook revenues went from 64 million $ in 2008 to about 3 billion $ in 2012. That’s a increase by a factor of close to 50 in just a few years.
The number of units sold also increased by the same factor (from 10 million units in 2008 to 457 million in 2012).
However, many experts believe that the ebook market has reached a plateau and the numbers for the first half of 2013 seem to confirm that.
From the revenues and units sold we can also extract the development of the average price for sold ebooks. It strongly increased from 6.4 $ in 2008 to about 8 $ in 2009. After that, it quickly went back down to 7 $ in 2010 and 6.7 $ in 2012. So ebooks have gotten cheaper in the last few years, but are still more expensive than in 2008.
As of 2012, ebooks make up 20 % of the general book market.
21 % of American adults have read an ebook / magazine / newspaper on an e-reader in 2012. This is up from 17 % in the previous year.
A survey, again from 2012, shows that most e-book consumers prefer Amazon’s Kindle Fire (17 %, up from no use) , followed by Apple’s iPad (10 %, same as previous year) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook (7 %, up from 2 %).