Report: Children’s Digital Reading Growing, Kobo Offers Discounts to Capitalize

Children’s digital reading is on the rise worldwide, according to a new report from e-reading and ebook company Kobo.

The report, which synthesized data from a number of news and information sources, including the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the Association of American Publishers and Digital Book World, claims that more children are reading digitally now, that many of them prefer to read digitally and that those who do read more books on average than those who do not read ebooks.

According to a new report from Digital Book World and PlayScience, a New York-based research firm which tracks the children’s digital content industry, more than half of U.S. children are now reading ebooks, compared with about a quarter of adults.

In its report, Kobo points out another, similar study which pegs the percentage of children in the U.S. reading ebooks at nearly 50%, double the previous year, and that the average ebook reader reports having read about 24 books in the past year versus 15 for the non-ebook consumer.

Kobo, which sells ebooks through its devices and online storefront in over 100 countries worldwide, also offered some new data on which kinds of children’s ebooks are being purchased and how much they cost:

— Nearly 60% of all children’s ebooks purchased are in the “fantasy and magic” genre. This is significantly higher than the next two most popular categories: “general” and “love and romance,” which both represent under 10% of sales.

— Back-list sales represent four out of five children’s ebook purchases.

— Nearly two-thirds of children’s ebook sales come from books that are part of a larger series, like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and other, less popular series.

— About half of children’s ebooks purchased are priced between $4.00 and $10.00. About one in six are priced beflow $4.00 and the balance, about a third, are priced above $10.00.

The Kobo report suggests that publishers are better off investing little in enhancing children’s ebook content as that market hasn’t quite taken off yet the way it has for long-form text reading books. See the full report here.

To capitalize on this growing market, Kobo is offering two of its devices at a steep discount versus their normal retail price and versus competitive e-readers. Until July 18, the Kobo Mini will be available for $39.99 and the Kobo Touch for $69.99 in Canada and the U.S. By comparison, the Kobo Mini was retailing for $79 and Amazon’s least expensive e-reader now retails for $69.

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