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Brits are Europe’s most prolific e-book buyers

e-book sales to reach £100 million by year-end

Amazon Kindle DX Graphite

UK consumers generated close to half of Western Europe’s entire spend on e-books last year, figures from a new European e-book and e-reader report said.

The study, from Futuresource Consulting, noted that this was despite the fact that the UK only accounted for 15% of the region’s spend on print titles. 

It said it expected the UK to achieve e-book sales of £100m this year, which would amount to over 5% of the total UK consumer spend on books.

‘The UK continues to dominate the European market and generated close to half of all Western European e-book spend last year, this despite only accounting for 15% of the region’s physical book spend,’ said Fiona Hoy, market analyst at Future source consulting.

Find out more about e-books and e-book readers using Which?’s interactive ebook guide

Amazon Kindle leading the way

The specialist research and knowledge-based company put the growth in spending down to the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader and the opening of its Kindle Store in the UK in August 2010.

‘Within a five month period Amazon sold close to 400,000 Kindle devices and achieved e-book sales in the region of £20 million,’ Hoy continued.

‘Amazon not only launched a premium brand e-reading device into a market which had previously been fragmented with unbranded dedicated devices, but it also provided an extensive catalogue of e-book titles at loss leading price points from key publishers.’

The report also noted that aggressive, aspirational TV and print advertising campaigns fuelled demand for both ebooks and ebook reading devices.

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