Magazines on E-paper E-reader Displays 'Approaching the Tipping Point,' Says Expert
A recent report issued by research and advisory firm mediaIDEAS projects sales of e-readers to grow from nearly 6 million units in 2010 to 115 million units in 2013, largely due to falling prices and rapidly advancing technology. "The E-Paper E-Reader Phenomenon" outlines the dramatic growth of these display devices over the next 10 years into a $25 billion market. Nick Hampshire, who authored the report, told Publishing Executive Inbox that magazine publishers must recognize the looming shift in the way consumers read content and realize that the "e-reader threat" has arrived and actually presents publishers with a real opportunity. The full report is available at www.mediaideas.net.
INBOX: What are the most significant takeaways from the results of your research?
NICK HAMPSHIRE: The most significant finding of our research has been the rapid future growth of the market. Since the first e-paper e-reader came onto the market in 2004, these devices, with their "green" credentials of reducing paper consumption, have already proven very popular with consumers, and the market for them is booming. By 2006, there were three types of devices available, by 2007, there were five, and currently there are over 40. This number will more than double in the next 12 months. Unit sales are also booming. In 2008, 1.1 million e-paper display-based e-readers were sold, in 2010 that number will rise to about 6 million, and by 2020 global annual e-reader sales will reach 446 million units with a value of over $25 billion.
Another significant result is that the market for e-paper e-readers will divide into four marketplaces by 2020, each with different device specifications and markets. Two of these will feature under 9-inch displays: the "roll-able/foldable" e-reader, similar to a communications device, with sales of 27 million units valued at $3.8 billion in 2020, and the "e-book" e-reader with sales of 115 million units valued at $6.5 billion in 2020. The other two will feature over 9-inch displays, and some significantly larger: first, a monochrome screen-based "paper replacement/newspaper" e-reader with sales of 24 million units valued at $1.2 billion in 2020, and subsequently the high-quality color display-based "magazine" e-reader with sales of 280 million units valued at $14 billion in 2020.