The #fall2021 edition of the Digital Consumer Book Barometer highlights digital trends in 1HY2021

The international consumption of digital books reflects a steady shift of readers’ habits, with mostly stable growth in ebooks and audiobooks and a continuous expansion of subscription, digital lending and streaming.

An icn image showing the Covid-19 virus as an autumn sun.

The Digital Consumer Book Barometer can be downloaded free of charge at 

The report provides detailed insights and analysis based on solid and exclusive market data on Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, French speaking Canada, Brazil and Mexico.

The surge in the consumption of digital consumer books, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, has stabilized, or even further expanded, in the first half year 2021.

The analysis of distribution data in 9 countries in Europe and the Americas indicates lasting shifts in consumer behav­ior, as has been predicted in earlier editions of the Digital Barometer. Developments not only show quantita­tive growth but, more significantly, new consumption patterns emerging.

  • First and foremost, early gains in digital consumption have mostly stabilized.
  • Second, trends and preferences relative to genre categories and to acceptable pricing levels have shifted with different accents and dynamics respective to overall market characteristics.
  • Third, ebooks and audiobooks by now form an ever more integrated field of digital con­sumption of books.

While in Western Europe and North Ameri­ca, general literature and crime fiction as well as children / juvenile and young adult have most profited from the upswing, education­al – including self-help and advice books showed strongest gains in Latin America.

Aside from download purchases one title at a time, new distribution and business mod­els expanded and gained popularity rapidly, such as ebook and audiobook subscription or lending offers from various platforms, in­cluding public libraries, commercial vendors providing continuous access to a digital book collection, or even (notably music) streaming services.

All three trends have existed already before the pandemic had struck but have been significantly accelerated and gained additional momentum over the past 18 months.

The Digital Consumer Book Barometer provides a granular and efficient toolset for understanding all these complexities and shifting patterns, segment by segment and territory by territory.

The Digital Barometer has been created by Ruediger Wischenbart Content and Consulting and is updated regularly since 2018.

The current #Fall2021 edition has been supported by sponsors, notably Bookwire (, DeMarque (, and IPDA (

Vienna, in November 2021

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