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Brazil and India set for greatest growth in e-book purchase, says Bowker research -

Australia, India, the UK and the US are leading the world in e-book adoption rates, according to Bowker Market Research's Global eBook Monitor. The study tracks consumer attitudes to, and purchasing of, e-books in major world markets. Bowker Market Research is a service of Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest.

Research for Bowker's Global e-book Monitor was conducted among the online population in 10 countries – Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US – in early 2012. India, Australia, the UK and the US lead in adoption of e-books, with more than 20 percent of respondents reporting purchasing e-books in the six months prior to the survey. Respondents in France and Japan were the least likely to have purchased an e-book, at 5 and 8 percent, respectively. While purchase behaviour varies by country, awareness is relatively consistent: more than 80 percent of respondents in each country know it is possible to digitally download a book.

The Monitor reveals that the market for e-books is set for a rapid increase in Brazil and India. Over 50 percent of respondents from these two countries said they were likely to buy an e-book in the next six months, a prediction that would double and triple the number of e-book buyers in India and Brazil, respectively. About a third of respondents in the UK and US said they had plans to purchase an e-book soon, compared to one in five in France, and one in seven in Japan.

Age and gender are consistent predictors of purchase behaviour globally. For example, in most countries surveyed, men are more likely than women to buy an e-book. Germany shows the greatest divergence, with 18 percent of male respondents having bought an e-book in the past six months, compared to only 8 percent of women. In almost all markets, the older the respondents, the less likely they are to have recently purchased an e-book. Purchase rates in India, Brazil, the UK, US and France are highest in the 25–34 age group, with Australia, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Japan highest among 18-24 year olds.

The numbers of e-books downloaded in the past six months within genres indicates significant differences between countries. In the UK and Australia the concentration is on adult fiction, while in India and South Korea the concentration is on both professional/business and academic/textbooks.

The Global eBook Monitor seeks to track consumer purchases of e-books, and attitudes about e-books, in 10 major world markets and aims to inform the publishing industry during a critical period of change. An annual study, over time it is expected to create a unique view of market shifts in response to new digital formats. It currently operates in partnership with Pearson, Tata Consultancy Services, AT Kearney and Book Industry Study Group (BISG).

Key findings from the research will be presented and debated at two webinars hosted by the BISG on April 2 and April 23.

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