More Than Half U.S. Kids Reading Ebooks, New Report Shows

When it comes to e-reading, children truly are the future.

More than half of U.S. children are reading ebooks, more than double the proportion of adults, according to a new report from Digital Book World and PlayScience, a New York-based children’s digital research firm.

Some 54% of U.S. children aged two-to-thirteen are reading ebooks, according to the report, The ABCs of Kids & Ebooks: Understanding the E-Reading Habits of Children Aged 2-13. This is more than double the 23% of U.S. adults who are e-reading, according to the latest numbers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

“If children are the future, then ebooks are the future of the publishing industry,” the report said.

Not only are a lot of kids reading ebooks — but they’re also doing so often. About a third of kids who e-read do so more than once a day. And 85% read an ebook at least once a week.

Both the volume and frequency of children reading ebooks should be welcome news for the children’s publishing industry, which has seen ebook revenue numbers soar in 2012. In August, the most recent month for which figures are available, children’s ebook revenues grew by about 50% versus the same month last year; children’s ebook revenues were also up by figures near 500% in the earlier part of the year.

The report from DBW and PlayScience also dives into which devices children read on, how parents and children choose which ebooks to buy, how much money they want to spend on ebooks per month and individual titles, co-reading habits and much more.

Digital Book World and PlayScience interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,287 sets of parents with children aged two-to-thirteen in an online survey about the ebook reading and buying habits of their children.

The ABCs of Kids & Ebooks: Understanding the E-Reading Habits of Children Aged 2-13 is available for purchase in the Digital Book World store. DBW will be holding a webcast on Jan. 29 to discuss more findings from the report.


Other Key Findings

— Of the 54% of parents saying that their kids aged 2-13 read ebooks; 85% are reading digital books at least once a week
— Children e-read on tablets more than any other device, with 31% of all children reading ebooks on a tablet at least once a week
— Among the 54% of kids who have access to tablets, 56% of them use tablets to e-read at least once a week
— Of the 28% of kids who have access to e-readers, 57% use them for e-reading at least once a week – similar to the use of tablets
— 70% of parents say their children read a combination of both enhanced ebooks and regular ebooks
— Tablet-owning parents place the highest value on enhanced ebooks, expecting to pay an average of $7.76 for enhanced ebooks, compared to $5.80 for regular ebooks
— Only 5% of parents expect regular ebooks or enhanced ebooks to be free


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