A new report from Juniper Research has found that continued strong growth in the dedicated eReader market, allied to an upsurge in usage across tablet devices, will push annual revenues from eBooks delivered to portable devices to $9.7 billion by 2016, up from $3.2 billion this year.
The report -- Mobile Publishing: eBooks, eMagazines & eNewspapers for Smart Devices -- found that the increasing demand for tablets means that these devices will account for nearly 30% of all eBook downloads by 2016. In addition to the higher rate of tablet penetration, eBook access on these devices has already been boosted by the launch of leading brand bookstore applications, such as Apple's iBookStore and Amazon's Kindle.
Synchronised eBook content across multiple devices
While mobile handsets currently account for the largest share of eBook downloads, the majority of these are comprised by the Japanese manga market. Elsewhere, smartphones are not -- and are unlikely to become -- a primary reading device. However, storefront operators are increasingly seeking to enable synchronised eBook content across multiple devices, thereby allowing users to continue reading text on their smartphone when their eReader/tablet is unavailable.
"Bricks and Mortar" chains embrace digital
While the transition to eCommerce and to digital content delivery has demonstrably had a negative impact on traditional "bricks and mortar" retailers, the report observed larger bookstore chains increasingly seeking to marry their digital and physical activities.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "The Barnes & Noble model has been to use its own brand eReader -- and its tablet application -- to act as a bridge between online and in-store purchases. The other chains are picking up on that, launching their own devices, offering digital coupons to be redeemed in-store, reinforcing the relationship with the consumer."
Other findings from the report include:
* The adoption of the EPUB3 standard should create new markets for rich media titles -- enhanced eBooks -- across dedicated eReaders
* Subscription pricing models are likely to proliferate amongst corporate/educational content
The mPublishing whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.