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Smartphones set to boost e-book market

Published : Nov 11, 2015, 12:55 am IST
Updated : Nov 11, 2015, 12:55 am IST

Ebook sales to make up 25 per cent of overall book sales in 3 years, say experts

Representational image
 Representational image

Ebook sales to make up 25 per cent of overall book sales in 3 years, say experts

While the deeper penetration of smartphones has surely benefited many people in different ways — be it in terms of e-commerce or making lives easier, but one more area where it could actually benefit a lot of individuals is in terms of accessibility of e-books.

Publishers and e-book providers claim that the proliferation of smartphones in India will increase the reach of ebooks in India, providing people with cost-effective options, revolutionising elearning and distance learning programmes.

Industry reports claim that in the next two to three years, ebooks could constitute about 25 per cent of the total book sales in India. The major push for this kind of growth, according to experts, is the penetration of smartphones and mobile data.

Explaining this trend, Westland publishers CEO Gautam Padmanabhan said, “Although the e-book market is at a very nascent stage, it has the potential to grow into something very significant. One of the factors that we as publishers see triggering this growth is definitely the high-level penetration of smartphone along with significant innovations in technology to make the reach possible. While in the US almost 30 per cent of the market is via ebooks, in India it is merely 5 per cent.”

Reiterating this view, Virender Gupta CEO Dailyhunt, which has tied up Westland to make Amish Tripathi’s book Shiva Triology series in chapter format for readers to download and has had over 28 million downloads in the last 13-14 months, said, “People are consuming different kind of content via mobile. And with the data penetration happening faster than ever before, we will only see this kind of consumption grow.”

“In terms of downloads, education books are more popular and also people want the convenience of using the same instrument for talking and reading, which will be via mobile,” Mr Gupta said.

Elaborating further and not giving a thumbs up for full replacement of physical books, Mr Padmanabham said, “Both will find their own equilibrium but not replacement and readers will have a choice between both. But one thing surely that ebooks will help is the reach of readers and there will also be a growing trend of new writers who will take over this concept and maybe write stories for this particular audience.” So, while experts believe that ebook penetration is growing in India, but it is still a wait and watch situation!

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad