PDF Still the Leading Format at O’Reilly

Epub and Kindle appear to be taking over the eBook world, but that’s not what is happening everywhere. O’Reilly Media recently surveyed their customers about their reading habits, and some startling details have been uncovered.

O’Reilly tracks downloads, but since their eBooks are DRM free they cannot get any more info than that. So in order to find out exactly how their eBooks are being used, O’Reilly ran a short survey asking customers what they device they read on and what format they preferred.

PDF was and still is the most popular eBook format (over Epub & Kindle), which is no surprise. O’Reilly is a technical publisher, so it would make sense that readers would want a format that resembled the print edition of a title. The survey also found that the most popular reading device wasn’t an eReader. No, 46% of respondents report that they are still reading the PDFs on a PC, with 26% reading on an iPad.

Joe Wikert explains the results:

When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Again, our audience is largely IT practitioners, coding or solving other problems in front of their laptops/desktops, so they like having the content on that same screen. And just about everyone has Adobe Acrobat on their computer, so the PDF format is immediately readable on most of the laptops/desktops our customers touch.

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