Home Book trading Digital book market in Germany from January to June: “slight growth”

Digital book market in Germany from January to June: “slight growth”

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In the first half of 2022, consumers bought more ebooks per capita and paid more for them, compensating for a smaller buyer base.

Following what Schengen Visa reports as an increase in tourism to Germany, Oktoberfest opened in Munich on Saturday September 17, after being canceled for two years by measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Foot Too

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

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Average price of an ebook up 0.4% to €6.48

IIn its interim report today, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the German association of publishers and booksellers, cites “slight growth” for the first half of 2022, with growth in its e-book market now returning to levels before the pandemic.

As our inaugural Frankfurter Buchmesse Publishing Perspectives Forum program prepares a look at the cost of doing business in publishing, today we have news from the Frankfurt German market in terms of e-book sales and consumption in the first half of this year.

Ebook sales in the consumer market increased “significantly”, of course, in the first half of 2020 (17.8%) and again in 2021 (9.6%). But those sales were up just 3.0% in the first six months of this year, compared to the January-June period of last year.

The share of the trade (consumer books) market held by e-books in Germany increased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.1%, according to today’s media messaging.

Some 20.9 million ebooks were sold, the report said, representing a 2.5% increase from the first half of 2021.

The average price of an ebook in the first half of this year in Germany increased by 0.4% to €6.48 (US$6.38). Picture: Borsenverein

The share of the trade (consumer books) market held by e-books in Germany increased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.1%, according to today’s media messaging.

Some 20.9 million ebooks were sold, the report said, representing a 2.5% increase from the first half of 2021.

Number of buyers versus purchase intensity

In this chart, one thing we see is that fiction was by far the largest category of ebook sales in the first half of the year, followed by content for young readers, then travel, advice and non -fiction. Picture: Borsenverein

Today’s report is not exhaustive and does not attempt to enter into an analytical discussion.

But what stands out are a few data points that describe two competing dynamics in statistics:

  • The number of book buyers, according to information from the Börsenverein, fell by 7.1% to around 2.5 million. In the first half of 2020, this pool of buyers stood at approximately 2.7 million. Last year, the number of buyers fell by 1.2%.
  • And yet, “purchasing intensity”, according to the trade organization, continues to rise.

“This explains why sales increased slightly despite fewer buyers,” the report’s authors write. “In the first half of 2022, buyers bought more ebooks per capita and also spent more on them: with 8.4 ebooks, they bought more titles on average than during the same period of the year previous (2021: 7.6).”

“Total spend per buyer increased by 10.8%,” the Börsenverein reports, “to €54.52 (US$53.67).

The trade association, in cooperation with GfK Entertainment, reports every six months on the development of the e-book market.

The e-book sales and revenue projections come from the GfK Consumer Panel Media Scope book with a total of 20,000 people acting as respondents. They are selected as a representative sample of the German resident population aged 10 and over, for a total of 66.2 million people. All individual purchases are logged.

Tourists in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, September 7. Reports indicate that tourism in Germany, by some metrics, was approaching pre-pandemic levels ahead of the opening of Oktoberfest on September 17. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Jan van der Wolf


In Frankfurt, join us for the inaugural edition of the Publishing Perspectives Forum, a two-day program bringing together leading and influential professionals from the international publishing industry to discuss the challenges, dynamics and trends of the publishing industry. ‘today.

Participation is free for all exhibitors and trade visitors to the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The program language is English. You can find all the details and news in development here.

To learn more about Publishing Perspectives on the German book market, click here to learn more about Frankfurter Buchmesse, click here to learn more about e-books and click here to learn more about industry statistics.

To learn more about the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing, click here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.