Parents Primed to Buy Devices and Ebooks for Their Kids This Holiday Season, New Study Finds

When it comes to their kids and e-reading, parents are prepared to spend this holiday season, an upcoming study has found.

Nearly 40% of parents with children aged 2-to-13 who read ebooks plan to purchase a new e-reading device for their children this holiday season, according to the study from New York-based children’s research firm PlayScience and Digital Book World. The study will be released in full exclusively at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo in New York on Jan. 16.

Among devices parents are most likely to buy for their children, Amazon’s Kindle Fire leads the way, with 28% of those who intend to purchase saying they plan to buy that device. Next is the iPad Mini, with 21%, followed by the iPad, with 18%. E-readers will be much less popular holiday items for e-reading children this year, with only 11% of parents planning on buying a Kindle e-reader and 7% a Nook e-reader (see chart below).

These results should be encouraging to children’s book publishers, which have witnessed a surge in 2012 in the market for their digital wares but still have a long way to go to catch up to the revenue gains seen in the adult trade ebook market.

“When you purchase a kindle fire, you’re purchasing a tablet, but it’s largely intended and designed for e-reading,” said Carly Shuler, strategy lead at PlayScience and the lead researcher for the report. “When you’re purchasing something like an iPad, it’s got a wider array of uses. What that tells us is that parents think e-reading is going to be a core component of their child’s tablet use.”

Beyond purchasing devices, parents are prepared to open their wallets to give digital gifts to their children. Two-thirds of parents of children who read digitally plan on buying ebooks for their children this holiday season. When asked how much money they intend on spending on such gifts, they said an average of $28.26.

“It indicates in a larger sense that parents are willing to give digital gifts. It’s good news for content creators,” said Shuler. In the past, digital gifts were thought to be inferior to physical ones: less fun to unwrap and hold, for one thing. That might be changing as more children read ebooks.

For device-makers and children’s ebook publishers, this means a strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday and then a flurry of digital content purchases in Dec. and Jan.

The upcoming study, tentatively titled “The ABCs of Kids and Ebooks: Understanding the E-Reading Habits of Children Aged 2-13,” goes well beyond holiday purchase intent. It will reveal just how many children aged 2-to-13 are reading e-books; what devices they’re reading them on; how they find new content to purchase; who makes the purchasing decisions; how much money they spend on digital content; and much more. The holiday purchase intent results above come from a subsection of 700 parents of children aged 2-to-13 who do currently read ebooks; the 700 comes from a much larger nationally representative sample of parents with children aged 2-to-13.

The study’s results will be revealed exclusively at Digital Book World 2013 on Jan. 16 in an afternoon session conducted by PlayScience. Following the session, the report will be available for purchase.

Interested in more information about the growing business of children’s digital publishing? Attend Children’s Publishing Goes Digital and Digital Book World 2013 for two days of programming on the latest in children’s digital reading.

Learn more about all the exclusive content being presented at the upcoming Digital Book World Conference + Expo in New York, Jan. 15-17.

Nov. 16 is the last day for early bird pricing — don’t miss out! Register today!



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