Good News: Pew Research Says eReaders Lead to Reading More (Duh)

April 2012

I have always believed that in digital media accessibility is a key driver of consumption.  Through that lens, I am not at all surprised to read that the Pew Research Center has found that there is a correlation between accessibility to quality eReader devices, available eBooks and increased overall consumption (reading more books).

  • Consumers equipped with mobile phones with better user interfaces TXT more
  • Consumers equipped with early dial-up Internet service read more about things they enjoy
  • Consumers equipped with High Speed DSL or Cable Modems consumer more online video

It should not be such a newsflash that consumers equipped with easy to use, economically priced, connected eReader devices would, (OH MY!) read more books.  The report is summarized in the today’s news:

More Americans are reading e-books than ever before, on more kinds of devices, a new reportfrom the Pew Research Center has found. That news won’t come as a shock, given the rapid spread of e-readers and tablet computers and the rise of e-content. What might be a surprise, though: The report contains good news for print lovers, too. Readers of e-books like to read in all formats, they favor print books for sharing and to read to children, and on average they read more books over all than print-only readers do.

“They’re heavier readers. They’re more frequent readers,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the group behind the report. “These devices have allowed them to scratch that itch.”

The report, “The Rise of eReading,” analyzes findings from a survey of almost 3,000 people nationwide in November and December 2011, along with data from follow-up surveys of about 2,000 people in January and February 2012. Twenty-one percent of respondents reported, as of February 2012, that they had read an e-book in the past year. That figure was up from 17 percent in December 2011, before the holiday surge in purchases of e-readers and tablets. The average e-book reader said he or she had read 24 books (electronic and print) in the past 12 months. Those who didn’t read e-books averaged 15 books over the same time period.

This should surprise no one and excite everyone in the digital publishing space (such as me).

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