More than 90 million e-books were purchased in 2010 and the market for e-readers and e-books will looks set to continue to develop at a rapid pace.
A report from Futuresource Consulting indicates that in 2010, the global e-book market grew by more than 200% to exceed 90 million paid-for units with a value of more $900. The US region accounted for more than 80% of global revenue and this rapid US e-book market growth and consumer adoption was predominantly driven by Amazon's loss-leading strategy on key e-book titles purchased through their Kindle store and Kindle app.
Although the e-book and e-reader market is currently dominated by the US this will change according to Fiona Hoy, Market Analyst at Futuresource. She anticipates that by 2014 the USA will contribute just over half of global revenues by 2014 while Western Europe's share will grow significantly to in excess of $6 billion. This will in part be stimulated by the launch of Google's eBook service in Europe, which Hoy maintains, "will have significant impact, providing a recognizable branded service offering millions of free legitimate titles alongside paid-for content. Additionally, the service allows for storing purchased books in the cloud, ensuring they can be accessed across multiple devices enabling consumers to reap the benefits of heightened competitive forces within the marketplace."
The Futuresource research indicates that Amazon retained its leadership in the US e-book market last year, significantly ahead of its competitors even with Apple's entry in the second half of 2010. It also shows that Amazon also established a similar position in the UK despite only entering the market in August 2010.
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