Book Buyers Would Prefer Free Books With Advertising to Paying, Survey Says

According to a recent survey, nearly half of U.S. book buyers would prefer free e-books supported by advertising than to pay even $0.99 for an e-book.

The survey was conducted among 5,000 people in the U.S. and UK by eBookPlus, a company that calls itself a “pioneer” in the “sponsored e-book market.”

According to the survey, in the U.S.:

— 45.7% of readers prefer free e-books with advertising (a 15-second pre-roll at the beginning of chapters)
— 20.8% prefer to pay $0.99 for an e-book without advertising
— 9.1% would pay up to $2.99 for a version without advertising
— 10.3% would pay up to $19.90 for a version without advertising
— 14.1% would prefer to download a pirated version

More survey results and the company’s announcement below:
Ebooks for 99 cents or free with advertising: which do readers prefer?

New survey carried out by eBookPlus reveals impressive figures on ebooks readers’ preferences

A survey carried out by eBookPlus provides new information about people’s preferences on the subject of reading ebooks.
The survey is based on answers from five thousand people in the USA and the UK, each question being answered by a thousand respondents. The survey shows that readers have no objection to advertising. In fact, most of them prefer reading free ebooks with advertising  to having to pay for them.
According to Leo Mark, CEO and co-founder of eBookPlus, people are used to free content on the internet, most of it being accompanied by ads. Many of them do not want to pay for something that in fact does not belong to them: ebooks cannot be lent or resold; you pay for the right to read them, but they are not yours.
We are exposed to publicity all the time, on the radio,  the television, at the movies and so on, so advertising in an ebook follows the same model.  The best of all, it makes ebooks cheaper, or, even better than that, it allows them to be offered for free.
“The publishing market cannot go on making the same mistakes as the music industry made recently; otherwise piracy will take over the market, and it will costthem million, or even billions of dollars. Unfortunately, there is another important factor to be considered: authors cannot make money from concerts” adds Leo Mark, who has also been a publisher and is a writer in his spare time.
The solution is simple: free content, with advertisements. A free ebook is a hundred times more acceptable – which means it is accessed a hundred times more often – than one for sale at 99 cents (imagine this relation when we talk about ebooks sold at a higher price).
Let us take as an example an author who sells an ebook for 2.99 dollars.  On average, the net proceeds will be 2 dollars. If the ebook sells a thousand copies, the author will get 2000 dollars. Using the 100 to 1 ratio, the same ebook offered for free will be accessed by 100 thousand readers. If the author gets 50 cents per book, the total proceeds will be 50,000 dollars. If we just take a 10 to 1 ratio, 10 thousand readers at 50 cents each will produce 5 thousand dollars, which is twice as much as anebook sold at 2.99 dollars can earn.
This is a great opportunity for independent authors to have their work widely read and to make money from it.  And it gives publishers an excellent opportunity to make money from titles that are not so widely read.
It’s a win-win-win situation. Authors and publishers make money offering their work for free; readers do not need to spend any money; and advertisers can offer their products or services to a highly qualified audience.
The survey showed that, in the USA, readers’ preferences are:
– 45.7% prefer free ebooks with advertising (at least 15 seconds) at the beginning of the chapters;
– 20.8% prefer to pay 99 cents for an ebook without advertising;
– 9.1% would pay up to 2.99 dollars for a version without advertising.
– 10.3% would pay up to 19.90 dollars for a version without advertising;
– 14.1% prefer to download a pirate version;

In the United Kingdom, the numbers are similar:
– 51.9% prefer free ebooks, with up to 15 seconds of advertising at the beginning of the chapters;
– 15.2% would pay up to 99 cents;
– 12.5% would pay up to 2.99 dollars;
– 9.4% say they would pay up to 19.90 dollars for an ebook without advertising.
– 11% prefer the illegal version;

The same survey was carried out twice this year in the USA, in different months. Surveys of different people, in April and September, showed the same average results.
It is clear that the sponsored ebook market is destined to grow, and we assure that readers, authors and publishers, as well as advertisers, will be much better off than with traditional sales.
eBookPlus is a pioneer in this promising market, which is going to be a breakthrough in the ebook sales and give them a new direction.

9 thoughts on “Book Buyers Would Prefer Free Books With Advertising to Paying, Survey Says

  1. Richard Bilkey

    I realise that online consumers are quite accustomed to accepting short ads in exchange for free content so it’s no big surprise that over 50% would be happy to accept it in eBooks too. But I’ve always felt that books have been one of the last ad-free refuges and that this a great point of difference for the industry.

    An author’s job is to provide an immersive world for a reader to escape into and a large part of that is about creating page-turning content that pulls the reader through the story. It strikes me that pausing for an ad-break each chapter could easily break the spell so carefully woven by a writer. Or am I being too idealistic?

    I guess the market will eventually decide either way and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of experiments in the next few years as authors and publishers find the right balance.

  2. Alan S. James

    This is the worst idea I have ever heard. Period. If you feel differently and wish to debate the issue further, go stand in front of the mirror and get after it.

  3. Jon

    @DBW — How did you arrive at “If the author gets 50 cents per book”? That would be a $500 CPM. Is that the rate that brands would pay for an in-book advertisement? Seems to be a very high presumption by a large multiple. I’d think a $50 CPM (5 cents per book) would be pretty high, no?

    I’d love to understand the source of that assumption. Thanks!

  4. Tarik

    Not a native english speaker, so please forgive my weak writing.
    I just wanted to make a few comments on the idea.
    1. It certainly has a vision and workability, and the idea is good.
    2. I completely agree that ,50$ for an ebook of about 3$ is a huge amount for ad-givers to pay. it can be maybe 5 cents, as noted.
    3. I also agree that, especially in fiction, say romance, most people will not want to be disturbed and taken away from the beautiful imaginary world they enter reading a book, by 15 min. of a say coke advertisement.
    4. but ithink its also a very realistic apporach that for many types of books, for which people usually need a break through reading and there is no sensual world created by reading, a price discount provided by short ads will be very attractive.



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