eBooks Not Catching On In Germany

Recent market research suggests that eBooks in Germany are in a rather odd position when compared to US, UK, or France. GfK Services released the results of a survey today which shows while 62% of Germans have heard of eBooks, only 500 thousand or so have bought one. This is well under 1% of the population.

The eBook survey was conducted in January, and this data also includes findings from GfK Media*Scope, which continuously surveys 20,000 consumers in Germany.

During 2010, eBooks are estimated to only account for half a percent of the total book market, and the total spent on eBooks was about €21 million. Part of the lack of market success could come from the limited participation from publishers. Only 35% of German publishers offer eBooks, and if they’re not selling then no one can buy.

The main reason German eBooks lag behind might be because lack of information. 54% of Germans say that although they have heard of eBooks, they know nothing or very little about them. And almost half of those who’ve bought eBooks don’t feel well informed. Also, 78% of Germans reported that they don’t want to read eBooks on a screen, and that’s only slightly down from 2009 where 83%

said the same.

via GfK Services

image by Redvers

However, it is not expected that the electronic book will become a real threat to print books in the foreseeable future: at the moment, 78% of Germans state that they do not wish to read books on a screen. Nevertheless, the fact that, in 2009, a higher proportion of respondents (83%) said the same demonstrates that there is potential for this to change.