DELOITTE: Why Real Books Will Continue To Dominate In A Digital World

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One of the more surprising parts of Deloitte’s latest annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions is that the printed book won’t die.

Print books globally will continue to dominate the publishing industry and still make up 80% of all book sales by dollars and units, says Stuart Johnston of Deloitte Australia.

In 2015 Deloitte predicts that sales from print books will be five times the sales of eBooks.

“eBooks have not substituted print books in the same way that sales of CDs, print newspapers and magazines have declined particularly for the younger cohort (aged 18-34), and specifically for young women,” he says.

“Apparently it is the smell of books, liking to collect them, and wanting full bookshelves that is driving the appetite for printed books. It would seem that Millennials are as attached to print books as their elders and read at about the same rate. And they are willing to pay for them.”

Millennials are also willing to pay for Pay TV, music, computer games, live sports, streaming videos, books and even print newspapers. They will spend an average of $US750 per person in 2015 for content, both digital and traditional.

Sales of eBooks have hit a plateau, or seen decelerating growth, in major markets including the US, UK and Canada.

Deloitte says this has occurred only over the last year, but as of late December 2014 US print book sales were up 2% year over year.

“It should be noted, however, that the longer-term trend for print books has not been as good,” Deloitte says.

“Although eBooks do not make up the majority of the book market, they have taken significant share.”

Between 2008 and 2013 total US book sales were up 8% to $15 billion and eBook sales were $3 billion.

If eBooks are removed from the total, book sales would be down 8% over that time.

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