A New Study by Publishing Technology Shows that Mobile Phone Reading is on the Rise

An increasing number of people are now using their mobile phones to read ebooks, a survey by Publishing Technology has revealed.

Consumers are more likely than ever to turn to mobile technology for reading. The survey found that 43 per cent of consumers have read an ebook, or part of an ebook, on their handsets, while 66 per cent (59 per cent UK/ 72 per cent US) of mobile book readers currently read more on their phones than they did last year. Younger people in particular are taking to their mobile phones to read more frequently with 23 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds who read on their mobiles now doing so every day.

Apple’s iPhone is winning the tech war as the mobile handset most likely to be used for book reading. The iPhone is the UK consumers’ choice for reading, with 40 per cent of people who read on their mobiles using an iPhone. Apple’s closest competitor in terms of mobile reading is Samsung (with 28 per cent of consumers using a Samsung handset to read), followed by HTC (seven per cent) and Nokia (seven per cent).

Amazon’s Kindle is the reading platform reportedly used most by readers on their mobiles. Overall, 50 per cent of UK mobile reading consumers used Kindle to read on their mobiles, followed by Apple iBooks with 31 per cent. Reading platforms Kobo and Nook are in third and fourth places with nine per cent and six per cent respectively. Amongst younger readers, iBooks is closing ground on Kindle. The study found that 41 per cent of 18 – 24 year olds who use their mobile to read are using Kindle, versus 39 percent who are now using iBooks. With only two per cent dividing Apple and Amazon in the usage statistics of younger readers (compared to the overall 19 per cent advantage Amazon currently holds). This raises a question mark over how long Amazon can hold onto its lead in the reading platform space.

In addition, millennials (18-24 year olds) are more likely than their elders to use an iPhone for reading. 43 per cent of 18-24 year old mobile readers in the UK are using an iPhone to read, compared to 33 per cent who own a Samsung, its current closest competitor. The popularity of the iPhone with young consumers may help to explain how, among this generation, iBooks has caught up to the Kindle in mobile reading.

The general trend is that consumers are reading more on mobiles, but many people are still unconvinced. When consumers across the US and UK who do not read ebooks on their mobile phones were asked why they did not, 40 per cent said it was inconvenient; 31 per cent said they felt they already overused their mobile; 33 per cent cited an unpleasant overall reading experience; and 24 per cent said that available platforms did not make mobile reading easy or accessible.

A better user experience was the primary factor most likely to encourage consumers to read on their mobiles. Of the reasons cited by people who do not read books on their mobile, 21 per cent would like to see an improved user experience as the most important factor to convince them to switch to mobile reading. Moreover, 15 per cent of consumers would like to see more price promotions and 13 per cent would be persuaded to switch by the wider availability of shorter content forms. However, half of all survey respondents said that there was nothing that could encourage them to take up reading on their mobiles.

Commenting on the results, Michael Cairns, CEO of Publishing Technology, said: “Mobile phones are increasingly being used as book reading devices but until now very little has been known about what, where and how consumers read using their mobiles.”

“The mobile’s rise in popularity among readers tells a significant story about the future of book reading. However technology providers and manufacturers would be wise to take note of consumers’ dissatisfaction with certain elements of the user experience that apply to reading on mobiles. The results of the report show that reading sessions are short and the content consumed is concise. However, as phablets become more widespread and platforms develop the mobile reading experience, we can expect mobile phone book reading to continue to grow rapidly in the years to come.”

The Mobile Book Reading Habits survey was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Publishing Technology. The survey was conducted using the views of 3,000 consumers across the US and UK. The full results can be accessed at www.publishingtechnology.com/research.

For further information please contact Daniel Freeman at Midas PR on 020 7361 7866 [email protected]

Comments are closed.