How did the Covid-19 sanitary crisis and the resulting lockdown impact on the ebooks and audiobooks consumption? Measuring transformative change, and lessons to learn for marketing digital consumer books.

A deep dive, based on digital sales data from our partner Bookwire for downloads and flat subscription distribution of ebooks and audiobooks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Free download at the bottom of this article!

Key findings and take aways:
  • Strong evidence that flat subscription and similar recurring distribution models (streaming, lending) are on the raise;

  • Ebooks are not at all limited to 'genre fiction', but children, young adult and other categories can find a good audience;

  • Smart and highly targeted PR and marketing are effective in gaining new consumer groups for digital.


  • Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned on our reports and events!


    DigiBaro-Covid_07_final.pdf
    The new Digital Consumer Book Barometer about sales patterns and trends in both ebooks and audiobooks in a half dozen European and American markets will be presented on June 2nd, 2020, at the Digital Publishing Summit & Readmagine festival . It is available for free download NOW.
    The report documents and analyses ebooks and audiobooks, download sales, subscriptions, library lending and streaming platforms in Canada (French), Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico, plus digital English imports, based on real sales data from leading distributors and aggregators.
    The Digital Consumer Book Barometer has been made supported by Bookwire, DeMarque, and the International Publishing Distributors Association.


    The Digital Consumer Book Barometer 2020
    The Digital Consumer Book Barometer 2019 explores sales trends in e-books and digital audiobooks in Canada, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Spain as well as foreign language imports. Based on real sales data provided by leading distributors, it monitors and analyzes the impact of key parameters like season, price points or genre category in both units (volume) and revenue (value).

    The Barometer 2019 can be downloaded free of charge here and at its sponsors.

    With its innovative and in-depth mapping approach, the Barometer allows authors, publishers and retailers to optimize their catalog strategies as well as finetune their marketing approach.

    Audiences increasingly make their choices of content purchases by picking rather the stories that they are interested in, and not by function of format, like a printed book or e-book or audiobook.
    This game-changing shift in consumer preferences is reflected in the report title “Digital Consumer Book Barometer”, to highlight the format-agnostic methodology of the Barometer survey.

    The Barometer 2019 builds on experiences of the Global eBook series (since 2011) and the premiere European e-Book Barometer of 2018 by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting, who also initiated the new report.

    The Barometer 2019 is a broad and inclusive collaborative effort of book distributors, notably its sponsors Bookwire, DeMarque, Libranda and the International Publishing Distribution Association (IPDA), together with additional data providing partners CB (formerly Centraal Boekhuis), Ingram Content Group and Readbox.
    The new European e-Book Barometer provides handy insights and guidance to digital book sales in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. It provides an intuitive and easy to read map for the e-book segment, based on precise aggregated sales data and chart driven trend information to publishers, retailers, authors as well as any other stakeholder interested in digital consumer books.
    Download the new European eBook Barometer here. It is free of charge!
    E-books are different. To better understand the specifics of digital book sales to consumers, publishers must learn about when readers pick up e-books along the year, what characterizes popular literary genres, or how sweet pricing allows to optimize marketing strategies.
    The European e-Book Barometer opens a valuable instrument to drive sales in times of challenging and complex competition for consumers’ choices of entertainment and learning.
    The European e-Book Barometer is an innovative collaborative initiative by e-book distributors in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain who otherwise are direct competitors on the respective territories. The strategic aim of this unique cooperation is to produce more detailed and reliable insights into today’s increasingly complex and competitive digital content markets.
    The Barometer has been launched and sponsored by Bookwire, CB, the International Publishing Distribution Association, IPDA, and Libranda. The Barometer aggregates data provided by the following e-book distributors: Bookwire (Germany and Spain), CB (formerly Centraal Boekhuis, the Netherlands), edigita (Italy), Libranda (Spain), and Readbox (Germany).
    The Barometer has been researched and produced by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting and the Global eBook report, to add more in-depth data and urgently needed orientation for the next phase of digital consumer publishing.
    Find more details about key findings below at the press release.


    European eBook Barometer Press Release
    At Global eBook, we decided in fall 2018 that we need to re-think what ebooks - or digital books for general readers - are all about. So we wrote a manifesto, Ebook 2018: Phase 02, as a strategic outlook for the Global eBook reports.

    The 2017 report can be purchased here.

    The White Paper "Ebook 2018: Phase 02" provides a strategic perspective on ebooks as they multiply in appearances, formats, business models and distribution practices, to meet with transformed consumer preferences and can be downloaded free of charge here.

    As authors and their works can be developed, published and distributed along many different trajectories now, seamlessly expanding from local to global, and from one medium or channel to any other, road maps become more relevant, and a solid command of the terms and conditions of the trade in its many new perspectives is essential.

    The debated trends around direct-to-consumer, self-publishing, audiobooks and 'Studio' platforms sets the agenda for the next Global eBook report which is under preparation for a release in fall 2019.

    The Global eBook report 2017 is out
    2017-03-02 12:24:47 by rw

    The Global eBook report 2017 is out and ready for purchase immediately, at €20, here.



    The entirely re-written and re-focused edition of 2017 provides a rich serving of exclusive data and analysis with an overview of current degital market developments in Europe, North and South America and Asia.

    Find the executive summary for free download at the bottom of this article, and sample charts further down below on this page.

    The Global eBook report, started in 2011, is the standard reference for a realistic understanding of digital consumer market developments.


    Global eBook 2017 Executive Summary

    The Global eBook Report 2016 is out!
    2016-04-14 16:55:34 by rw

    The 2016 edition of the Global eBook report has been released. Find an overview on topics and structure in the Executive Summary at the bottom of this page.

    Click here to purchase the Global eBook Report at only €20:



    With more than 50 data driven original charts and tables, the international industry reference on the evolution of ebook markets focuses on relevant key angles for an understanding of the current transformation of book publishing in a global perspective:

    • Market close ups (print and digital) for the US, UK, Europe (notably France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands Spain, Sweden, and a detailed overview on Central and Eastern Europe),

    • Plus analysis of selected emerging markets, notably Brazil, China, India and Russia;

    • Summaries of key debates and driving forces (global players such as Amazon, statistical close ups on pricing, performance by genre, piracy, patterns of consumer habits, DRM, self publishing, et al.)



    We provide an overview of trends and developments, based on a unique set of data from a wide array of the best available sources, backed up by a thorough analysis of overall book publishing in the diverse international contexts.

    The 2016 edition of the Global eBook report particularly emphasizes how digital developments are embedded in the overall evolution of publishing markets, by providing context data as well as historical statistics to spot trends and developments over the past 3 to 7 years.

    Main driving forces and policy as well as legal debates shaping the current transformation of the international book business are identified and looked at in country and market comparisons.

    To receive alerts on updates, and similar reports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here

    We thank our sponsors:


    The Global eBook report has been produced on Booktype. Web analytics by SimilarWeb.


    Global Ebook 2016 Executive Summary