Live-blogging TOC2011: What do Ebook Readers Really, Really Want?

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Michael Tamblyn from Kobo is presenting data on behavior (reading and buying) of ebook readers on the Kobo platform.

Four sample reader segments:

  • “Gold-A”: Spends $35 at first, $25 each vist, visit 7 times per month. Continuous reader. On an e-Ink device. A new customer who starts with ebooks is more and more likely to buy more books (customers from 1 month ago buying 35% more than customers that started one year ago). Buys mostly fiction. Doesn’t get free works.
  • “Bronze-E”: Spends $15 at first, then about $11 every month. Usually on an iPhone. Much more price-conscious. Likely to read across multiple devices, e.g. web and iPhone. Small screen customers less engaged in general. Android performs better for customer longevity than iPhone. Mostly reads genre fiction like romance and fantasy.
  • “iPad Socialite”: Readers that use iPad apps for reading spend about the same as above segment, but behavior is different. Kobo reader gives awards for readers that are more likely to read at particular time (commute, in bed, at lunch). Number of readers: late night/evening readers read less, commuters and morning readers much more. Number of hours reading, late night higher overall amount of time reading. 8pm-midnight is prime e-book buying time.
  • “The Freegan”: No money spent at all. Read on the web. Load content on to multi-use devices (mostly smartphones) themselves. Many people in this segment are international. Most people with free books on their readers are Jane Austen fans :) Almost completely resistant to marketing of any kind.
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