Twenty-eight percent of U.S. adults use e-reader to read books, up from 15% seven months ago; 13% say they are likely to purchase e-reader within next six months: Harris

NEW YORK , March 8, 2012 (press release) – To some it may seem like we've always had them, but the world of eReaders is still fairly new. But, as Apple releases its 3rd iPad to the world, it seems like they are here to stay. This past summer, 15% of Americans said they use an electronic reader device such as a Kindle, iPad or Nook to read books while 85% did not. Fast forward seven months, and that number has almost doubled - now almost three in ten U.S. adults (28%) are using one of these devices to read books while 72% are not.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,056 adults surveyed online between February 6 and 13, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Unlike some new technology, there is not a great divide by age when it comes to eReader use. Among Echo Boomers (ages 18-35) and Gen Xers (aged 36-47) 30% currently use an eReader and that number just drops slightly to 28% among Matures (ages 67 and older) and 24% of Baby Boomers (ages 48-66).

Looking ahead, 13% of Americans say they are likely to purchase an eReader in the next six months, while 77% are unlikely to do so and 10% are not at all sure. In July, 15% of Americans said they were going to purchase an eReader in the next six months.

Reading and Buying Books The rise of eReaders may actually be a positive for publishing companies who are embracing electronic books. Among those who are currently using an eReader, three in ten (29%) say they typically read more than 20 books in an average year, while one in five (21%) say they read between 11 and 20 books and one-quarter (24%) read between 6 and 10 books. So, almost three-quarters of eReader users are reading 6 or more books in an average year. Among those who do not use an eReader, the numbers are reversed as one in five (18%) typically reads no books in an average year, one in five (19%) typically reads between 1 and 2 books and one in five (21%) typically reads between 3 and 5 books. So, three in five non eReader users are reading 5 or fewer books on average in a year.

Purchase behavior is similar. Over one-third of those who do not use an eReader (36%) say they do not purchase any books in a typical year while one in five eReader users purchase over 20 (20%) and between 11 and 20 books (21%) in a typical year.

So what? Is the printed book dead? Probably not dead, but it is becoming easier to imagine a world without as many printed books. Whether it is Apple, Barnes and Noble or Amazon driving this change, the change is coming and they are gladly adding new devices to make Americans look for the next and greatest one.

        TABLE 1
        USE E-READER
        "Do you use an electronic reader device, such as a Kindle, an iPad or a Nook, to read books?"
        Base: All adults
                        Total           Total           Total           Region
                        2010            2011            2012
                                                                        Echo            Gen. X          Baby            Matures
                                                                        Boomers         (36-47)         Boomers         (67+)
                                                                        (18-35)                         (48-66)
                        %               %               %               %               %               %               %
        Yes             8               15              28              30              30              24              28
        No              92              85              72              70              70              76              72
        Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; The 2011 data was collected in July and the 2012 data in February
        


        TABLE 2
        LIKELY TO GET AN E-READER
        "How likely do you think you will be to get an e-reader device within the next six months?"
        Base: Adults who do not use an e-reader
                          Total           Total           Total           Region
                          2010            2011            2012
                                                                          Echo            Gen. X          Baby            Matures
                                                                          Boomers         (36-47)         Boomers         (67+)
                                                                          (18-35)                         (48-66)
                          %               %               %               %               %               %               %
        Likely (NET)      12              15              13              13              16              14              8
        Very likely       3               4               3               3               2               4               5
        Somewhat likely   9               11              10              10              15              10              4
        Not likely (NET)  80              76              77              77              71              79              80
        Not very likely   21              25              2               28              22              28              33
        Not at all likely 59              50              50              49              49              51              47
        Not at all sure   8               10              10              8               13              7               11
        Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; The 2011 data was collected in July and the 2012 data in February
        


        TABLE 3
        BOOKS READ IN A YEAR
        "How many books do you typically read in an average year? If you are not sure, please use your best estimate."
        Base: All adults
                             Total                Total                Total                e-Reader
                             2010                 2011                 2012
                                                                                            Uses                 Does not use
                             %                    %                    %                    %                    %
        0                    9                    15                   14                   2                    18
        1-2                  14                   14                   15                   7                    19
        3-5                  20                   20                   19                   16                   21
        6-10                 16                   15                   19                   24                   16
        11-20                21                   16                   14                   21                   11
        21+                  19                   20                   19                   29                   15
        Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; The 2011 data was collected in July and the 2012 data in February
        


        TABLE 4
        BOOKS PURCHASED IN PAST YEAR
        "How many books have you purchased in the past year? If you are not sure, please use your best estimate."
        Base: All adults
                             Total                Total                Total                e-Reader
                             2010                 2011                 2012
                                                                                            Uses                 Does not use
                             %                    %                    %                    %                    %
        0                    21                   32                   29                   10                   36
        1-2                  17                   17                   15                   11                   17
        3-5                  22                   17                   19                   21                   18
        6-10                 17                   15                   14                   18                   13
        11-20                11                   10                   12                   21                   9
        21+                  12                   9                    11                   20                   8
        Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; The 2011 data was collected in July and the 2012 data in February
        



MethodologyThis Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 6 and 13, 2012 among 2,056 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.


The Harris Poll® #26, March 8, 2012By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive


About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com .

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