Research from iModerate Research Technologies and Brock Associates finds that 66% of consumers with multi-function devices have increased their reading habits and 46% have been inspired to read more books in print. Here’s their report:
In a recent study to understand how portable, multi-function devices or MFDs (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android devices, etc) are changing consumer book reading habits, consumers who utilized these devices expressed a tremendous affinity for them, struggling to come up with any significant shortcomings to reading ebooks on them. These consumers also revealed their specific preference for MFDs, usage occasions and their ebook purchasing habits.
The two-part study with over 300 MFD owners who have read an ebook in the past 6 months, was conducted by online qualitative research firm iModerate Research Technologies and research and publishing consultancy, Brock Associates. A summary of the results were presented at Digital Book World 2011 in New York City.
The study found that the top three reasons MFD users prefer reading on their device as opposed to a hard copy book are the convenience it offers (80%), the ease of purchasing ebooks (61%) and the backlit screen (41%). Moreover, the three most common occasions for reading on MFDs are: while traveling (72%), while waiting for an appointment (72%) and while relaxing (70%).
“I think we can expect to see growth in ebook consumption in the coming year because consumers suggest that reading books on a multi-function device is such a convenience to them,” says Laurie Brock, President of Brock Associates. “As long as they have their device with them 24/7, they are going to read on it – especially if the price for an ebook remains reasonable.”
Qualitatively, consumers provided the reasoning behind why their reading habits have increased, and the story surrounding the benefits that MFDs and ebooks offer:
Respondents indicated they are “time-filling reading” primarily on a MFD. Because respondents nearly always have these devices with them, they use them to read ebooks during otherwise “dead” pockets of time, such as when waiting at the doctor’s office or while their kids play on the playground.
“When we’re going somewhere in the car and my husband is driving, I’ll read some. If my kid is playing on the playground or something, I’ll sit and read while she’s playing. It’s just convenient to pull out if I have a few minutes that I’m not doing anything.” Female 25-34
The greatest benefit of the ebook experience stems from the tremendous convenience of storing books on devices that respondents nearly always have on hand. Rather than lugging heavy paper books or being stuck with just one or two titles, an ereader (whether multi-function or dedicated) allows users the luxury of having an entire library at their fingertips.
“I like being able to have many books that I can choose from to read all in one place… All I have to do is download whatever books I want to read to my devices and I can read one book for a while or switch to another book if my mood changes and I want to read something else.” Male 25-34
The digital format provides a variety of secondary benefits that enhance the ebook experience. These include the ability to adjust text size, make notes or highlight text, bookmark pages, search within a text and read easily in the dark.
“I also like that I can easily highlight them without ”ruining” them… It lets me easily reference things in the future. It’s like being able to put unlimited bookmarks in a book without having them stick out all over the place.” male, 25-34
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.