Ebooks and audiobooks in the DACH markets: looking at big trends in 2019-2021.

MEDIA REPUBLIK > books & e-books > CONVERGENCE MONITOR 2021

The Digital Book Barometer by Rüdiger Wischenbart has been analysing since 2018 market and consumer trends in ebooks and audiobooks across their various formats, business and distribution models. It covers several markets, including the German-speaking contries (GAS, DACH Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and Brazil, French-speaking countries, Italy and Spain. In this post, find selected data from the DACH markets, delivered by Bookwire and covering 1H 2019, 1H 2020, 1H 2021. For the full report, please follow the links provided.

DISTRIBUTION
MODELS
AUDIOBOOKS
TRENDS

The Digital Book Barometer explores key market dynamics of ebooks and audiobooks.

The Digital Book Barometer Fall 2021 update provides a synthetic picture of the digital books (ebooks, audiobooks) dynamics according to three dimensions:

  • By price 
  • Genre category
  • Distribution model (download sales, subscription and streaming)

Close up on the DACH markets, 2019 to 2021: ebooks trends.

Demand by Genre.

  • During the pandemic, ebook readers showed a strong appetite for general literary fiction and crime. 
  • Non fiction also peaked in absolute sales numbers in the Covid-19 context. 

In all developments as measured by genre category, gains from the first period of Covid restrictions in 2020 had stabilized and hardly changed in the first half year 2021. 

TRENDS IN VALUE AND VOLUMES BY GENRE – DACH: GERMANY SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA – 1H 2019,2020,2021

Source: BookwireRüdiger Wischenbart

The core audiences reached by ebooks have gained a clear level of maturity, with steady acceptance of prices comparable with the paperbacks in print.  

SHARE OF EBOOKS DOWNLOADS, VALUE AND VOLUME, BY PRICE CATEGORY AND GENRE ACROSS 1H 2019, 2020, 2021
schermata 2021 12 28 alle 17.48.05

Source: Bookwire | Rüdiger Wischenbart

Distribution models: downloads vs subscriptions.

The pandemic produced a big push for distribution models supporting continuous access to digital collections, in the various models for subscription (flat rate, or access to a specific title selection) as well as for public library lendings. This trend is going to stay: the data of 1H 2021 show substantial stability.

absolute growth of alternative distribution models in the 1h 2019, 2020, 2021.

Source: BookwireRüdiger Wischenbart

audiobooks downloads – volumes and values in % by genre – in the 1h 2019, 2020, 2021.

Source: BookwireRüdiger Wischenbart

AUDIOBOOKS ARE CLOSER TO PODCASTS AND JOIN THEM ON STREAMING PLATFORMS.

Audiobook downloads remained continuous in the first half of 2021, by comparison to the previous year. The surge in subscriptions (which includes lending from public libraries) and, even more so of streams is remarkable in its steadiness. 

audiobooks downloads – volumes and values in % by genre – in the 1h 2019, 2020, 2021.

Source: BookwireRüdiger Wischenbart

Note. Definition of “streams”:  „Streams“ are audiobooks distributed through mostly music streaming services, with each audiobook broken down into „tracks“ which are measured for this figure.


The Digital Book Barometer by Rüdiger Wischenbart and Michaela Anna Fleischhacker .

Get the full report from www.global-ebook.com.

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