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The Economics of Digital Readership

Gallagher_Kelly.JPGIn a morning presentation at Digital Book World, Kelly Gallagher (pictured, via) of RR Bowker provided a preliminary look at the evolving e-readership.

Most dramatically, he reported that 37 percent of eBook readers earned over $65,000 a year, 38 percent earned between $35,000 and $75,000, and 25 percent earned $35,000 or below. That presents a considerable challenge for publishers–how to reach an economic bracket effectively priced out of the digital book market.

Associate editor Iris Blasi broke that figure down on Twitter: “100% of entry level publishing types live in the beige circle @BISG’s pie chart defines as “low income”(<$35K)."

In the survey's oddest result, eight percent of the respondents said they used nook, even though Nook wasn't released at the time of the survey. Gallagher blamed this on "brand confusion" in the world of digital readers.

Here's an excerpt from his speech: "Today all bets are off [about] knowing where that customer is. Today's consumer they don't care that we are here at this conference… that's a reality that's facing us in the publishing industry. All they care about that they're going to get their product when they want it and how they want it. They don't care what our problems are."

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