Webinar Summary- Consumer Book Trends 2009 – Hosted by Bowker & AAP

December 16th, 2009 · by spolanka · No Comments

Attended the Bowker/AAP webinar on consumer book trends for 2009.  This focused on Q3 numbers in 2009 with a close look at 2 user groups -  18 – 29 year old males and 30 – 40 year old females.  My notes are below, pardon the typos, was typing fast and furious to catch the data.

the Speakers:

  • Tina Jordan, VP AAP – moderator
  • Kelly Gallagher, VP Publishing Services, Bowker – speaker

Bowker announced yesterday that 1/3 Americans cutting down on book purchases

Survey data came from PubTrack Consumer Methodology 2009

  • 75 questions
  • monthly
  • 36,000 book buyers annually surveyed
  • 120,000 book purchases
  • 80,000 shopping occasions

What are the trends of 2009 – first 3 quarters

High level look at trends:

  • female baby boomers – largest segment – 19
  • female Gen Y – 15
  • female Gen X – 14
  • Male baby boomers – 11
  • Female matures  – 9

top 10 genres

  • gen fiction
  • romance
  • fiction espionage
  • mystery
  • other juv fic
  • picture book/ story
  • YA
  • bio/autobio
  • fiction fantasy
  • literary/classics

top 5 channels

  • large chains – 27%
  • e-commerce 20%
  • book clubs 11%
  • mass merchandisers 8%
  • independents 5%

top 5 formats

  • trade paperback 35%
  • hardcover 34%
  • mass market paperback 21%
  • audio 1.6%
  • e-book 1.6%  (last year e-books hadn’t hit the 1% mark)

top devices

  • laptop/PC only – 40
  • kindle – 28
  • iPod/mp3 device  -12
  • iPhone – 6
  • Sony Ebook Reader  – 5
  • other – 5
  • PDA (Blackberry)-  4
  • Cell Phone – 1

top reasons for purchase

  • liked topic/subject – 13
  • liked author – 13
  • like series – 9
  • looked thru book and liked it – 7
  • recommended from someone they knew – 7
  • intrigued by title – 6
  • price
  • other
  • like character
  • cover/jacket description

top social networks of YTD09 Buyers

  • facebook 48%
  • myspace  32%
  • linked in 7
  • twitter 11
  • other  9
  • none – 38%

book recipients by age (good to see a strong commitment to books/reading from younger children)

  • birth to 5 years  18%
  • 5 – 9  – 15%
  • 30 – 44 – 13%
  • 18 – 29 -  12%
  • 9-12
  • 13-17
  • 45-54
  • 65+
  • 55 – 64

what do we do in a challenging market?

is the economy having an impact on your book buying? yes, significant impact across all sectors of book buyers, more dramatic for females (core segment as noted earlier)

Q309 same question asked and numbers did not change significantly.

what are impacts on book buying?

  • cutting down on overall book buying 34%
  • buying more used or swapping with others 21%
  • buying fewer hardcover, more paperbacks
  • buying at deep discount or on sale
  • going to lower cost outlets
  • other
  • buying more books as less expensive alternative to other forms of entertainment
  • buying more ebooks to download 2%

knowing your consumer is essential!

market share shift – males/females from Q1/2 to Q3

  • males have gained more market share, females have dropped (Q1/2)
  • males 18 – 29, growing at a more rapid pace, females 20 – 44 still at a loss, but it’s 1% less than Q1-2
  • 65+ buyers about the same

not all customer strategies should be created equal (men are from mars, women – venus, see details below for proof)

like an onion- layers to people, they are complex (I think Kelly watched Shrek)

focus on segment 30 – 44 females:

  • women buy lower priced products
  • they purchase at same rate as other book buyers
  • books purchased per occasion is higher than most but dollars spent for occasion is lower than most groups
  • they buy at large chains, e-commerce, book clubs, mass merchandisers.  book clubs/fair sales decreasing throughout year, chain and mass merchandiser purchases rising. All other channels (which includes libraries) is 5th largest segment
  • Walmart,Target, Kmart are biggest mass merchandisers
  • formats purchased – paperbacks, hardcover, audio, e-book (there is a growth in e-book purchasing Q1 .5%, Q3 1.7%), and finally other
  • genres – fiction 4/10 purchases are fiction (39%), juvenile 29%, non fiction 14,  academic/prof 10%, STM 2% , and religion(6%)
  • women liked the topic/subject/author/series all hold significant place in why they purchase titles, price was also high – 13% and special offer 8%
  • females become aware of books by browsing store displays/shelves/racks (25%), recommendations from friend, at school, and more
  • more than 1/2 of purchases are impulse buys
  • 65% of women are facebook users (living social, facebook app)
  • e appetite? 5% read e-books daily/weekly, 1.7% have a reader, 10% likely to buy an ebook reader, 5% have an iPhone
  • 63% married, mean income $62.5K, median income $62K

focus on 18-29 year old males:

  • represent 10$% of dollars spent
  • they have a much higher average selling price (caution, some of this may be influenced by textbook prices)
  • dollars spent per occasion are $10 higher than all buyers
  • they purchase in large chains and e-commerce (much more so than women), much less in book clubs/fairs, all other channels were really low (less than 10%)
  • Barnes/Noble 61% share, borders, booksamillion, hastings
  • formats preferred: paperback, hardcover, audio, e-books (flip flop of audio/ebook purchases in Q1 to Q3, men have broken the 2% for ebook purchases)
  • fiction is big (11 points less than female), lots of nonfiction, higher in academic and STM, less juvenile than females but higher religion purchases
  • non-fiction appetite spans a wide variety of genres
  • drivers of purchase – liked author/topic, needed for class/study, recommended by someone they knew, price was less of a concern
  • how do they become aware of the books they buy?  in store sales clerk is #1 (what, men ask? they know what they want when they arrive and ask for directions to it), teacher/course recommendation is 2nd, recommendation from friend, store display 4th – magazine ads did account for 6% of awareness
  • male book purchases are planned – more than 1/2, women were much more impulse buyers
  • 64% on facebook, 44% on myspace
  • appetite for e content?  15% read ebooks daily/weekly, 3.4% have an e-reader, 20% likely to buy an ereader, 11% have an iPhone
  • 20% married, mean income$49K, median $37K

bottom line – consumer segmentation is essential in all phases of publishing

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