Book market in Europe- Statistics & Facts

Similar to what is happening across the media industry, the book industry in Europe is existing in a period of digitalization. Nevertheless, most book lovers remain loyal to the printed form. A survey conducted in France in 2014 showed that about 59 percent of printed book readers have no intention of reading in digital format. Opinions are similar in Spain; in 2014 about 79 percent of survey respondents read printed books, while just 11.1 percent preferred digital copies. With printed books being the favorite reading method in Europe, the e-book market remains weaker. A study showed that in 2017 e-books will account for about a fifth of all book sales in Europe.


Projections for the book market in Europe are not very optimistic. In Sweden the revenue of consumer books will decrease from about 3.5 billion DKK in 2014 to about 3.3 billion DKK in 2020. The same goes for Germany, where in 2009 the revenue of print and audio books was about 6.2 billion dollars, but is expected to decline to 6.05 billion dollars in 2018. Overall in Europe there has been a change in the purchasing method of books. Many consumers now purchase books online. In Germany for example, the number of online buyers who purchased hardbacks and paperbacks on the internet increased consistently from 13.11 million in 2012 to 15.04 in 2015. Among the reasons for purchasing books online, a survey conducted in the Netherlands about the online store Bol.com showed that 49 percent of respondents bought online because of the availability to purchase 24 hours a day and 32 percent because of the easy access.

A relatively new trend in the book market is audio books. In Germany, for example, about 2.83 million people bought more than one audio book in 2016. The number of audio books sold in Norway increased consistently from over 348 thousand copies in 2013 to 675.3 thousand in 2015. In parallel to the number of individuals listening to audio books, the revenue of audio books also increased during recent years; between 2013 and 2015, the revenue of audio books in Norway rose from 49.99 million NOK to 64.74 million NOK.

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