Digital book market in Latin America - statistics & facts
Only three economies worldwide recorded an expansion in Spanish-language e-book sales in 2021 – all on the American continent. While the United States and Mexico recorded an increase of around four percent each, Chile's e-book sales revenue growth rate reached 15 percent that year, highlighting Latin America's rising importance in the electronic publishing segment. Sales of e-books in Spanish in the region stood at little more than 28 million euros in 2021. That was slightly below the record high of 29.5 million euros seen in the previous year, the first of the pandemic. Yet it consolidated the new heights for the subcontinent altogether, with Mexico alone reporting an e-book sales revenue bigger than Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru combined.
Mexico: the Americas' top Spanish-language market
During the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak, e-book sales in Mexico skyrocketed by nearly 60 percent. When considering all electronic titles (regardless of their language), the 2020 result amounted to 368 million Mexican pesos. The sharp rise followed a constant increase in e-book penetration among Mexican readers throughout the second half of the 2010s. The share doubled between 2018 and 2021, when it surpassed 21 percent. A more recent study, conducted in April 2022, suggests that another format may also flourish in Mexican soil. Almost one of five internet users surveyed in that country said they listened to audiobooks, placing this product among the top four most-listened-to types of digital audio content in Mexico.
Brazil: the massive Portuguese-speaking market
Usually excluded from Latin American rankings on the e-book trade due to its core linguistic heritage, Brazil saw digital book sales revenue grow by about 23 percent in 2021. It reached approximately 181 million Brazilian reals (or 28 million euros at December 31, 2021 exchange rates). E-books accounted for the vast majority of digital book copies sold in the Brazilian market. But audiobooks gained some momentum as their share went from 1.88 percent in 2020 to 2.13 percent in the following year. Similarly, the percentage of internet users downloading e-books in Brazil remained, on average, mostly the same from 2018 to 2022. But there were increases in the 16-34 age group, indicating that the next generations are likely to catch up with the trend and consume more literature on screen rather than on paper.
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