Current, Planned E-reader Usage Low

September 23, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Media & Entertainment | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce | Technology | Telecom

Low percentages of Americans currently use or plan to buy an e-reader, according to a new Harris Poll.

Few Use E-readers, Most Non-users Will Stay that Way
Only 8% of Americans currently use an e-reader device. Of the 92% who do not use an e-reader, 80% say they are not likely to get one, with 12% saying they are likely and 8% not sure.

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Breaking down likelihood responses further, 59% of those not using an e-reader are not at all likely to get one and 21% not very likely. Meanwhile, only 3% are very likely to get one and 9% are somewhat likely. This means resistance to e-readers by those who do not currently use them is even stronger than it appears at first glance.

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E-reader Users Read, Purchase More Books
Not too surprisingly, users of e-readers generally report reading and purchasing more books in the past year than non-users. For example, only 1% of users have read no books in the past year, compared to 10% of non-users.

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At the other end of the spectrum, 26% of users have read 21 or more books in the past year, compared to 19% of non-users. The greatest disparity between the two groups is the percentage who have read 11-20 books in the past year (36% of users and 19% of non-users).

Results from the question asking users and non-users how many books they have purchased in the past year are similar. Eight percent of users and 22% of non-users have purchased no books in the past year. The percentages of users who have purchased 21 or more books (20%) and 11-17 books (17%) are roughly double the percentages of non-users (11% for each range of books purchased).

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Half of E-reader Users Say Reading Habits Unchanged
Virtually half of e-reader users (49%) say using an e-reader has not changed their e-reading habits. Roughly the same percentages say they read less (23%) and more (21%) than before. Four percent say they purchase more books but actually read them less.

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These results indicate that in many cases, e-reader users were heavier readers than the general population before getting an e-reader.

E-book Readers Skew Educated, Male, Affluent
The approximately 2.1 million US adults who own electronic book readers are more likely than the average adult to be male, well-educated and have higher-than-average income, according to the most recent data from Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI).

At 56.3% of e-reader users, men outnumber women (43.7%). They are 11% more likely than the average adult to own their home and are 87% more likely to have annual household income of $100,000 or more. In addition, they are 111% more likely than the average adult to have obtained a Bachelor’s or post-graduate degree.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the US between August 9-16, 2010 among 2,775 adults (aged 18 and up). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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