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The rise of the multi-e-reader household and 'hand-me-down' e-reader

Mike Wolf e-books e-reader future of publishing

Edmonds, WA - January 15, 2013 - As more consumers across all age segments transition from physical to digital books and tablet adoption continues to climb, a resulting surge in the growth of multi-e-reader households has taken hold according to new research from NextMarket Insights. Results from a US survey conducted at the end of 2012 show approximately half of all e-reading households have more than one e-reading device (including both dedicated e-readers and tablets) and over 17% have three or more e-reading devices. 

"Many households that purchased a dedicated e-reader in the last few years have now also have acquired a tablet," says chief analyst Michael Wolf. "This has resulted in a growing number of households that have multiple e-reading devices as well as  'hand-me-down' e-readers."

Hand-me-down e-readers are those e-readers passed on to another household member when the original owner buys a new e-reading device. NextMarket Insights estimates 4.5 million e-reading devices became a hand-me-down device in 2012. Often these consumers move on to a tablet as their primary e-reading device. According to NextMarket Insights, consumers in households with multiple e-readers are twice as likely as those without to use an iPad as their primary e-reading device. 

"However, it's still too soon to write the obituary for the dedicated e-reader," says Wolf. "According to our survey, nearly 4 in 10 e-reading consumers living in single e-reader households call a Kindle e-reader (non-tablet) their primary e-reader."

Another interesting trend among e-reading consumers is the growing use of smartphones as e-reading devices. According to the NextMarket insights survey,  7% of e-reading consumers call a smartphone their primary e-reading device. 

These results are from a new report published by NextMarket insights entitled, The e-book consumer 2013. The new report is based on a survey of over 1200 e-reading households in the US conducted at the end of 2012.

NextMarket Insights is a research firm focused on emerging consumer technologies. NextMarket Insights was founded by Michael Wolf, a long-time consumer analyst who helped create GigaOM's successful research services and also launched research practices at In-Stat and ABI Research. For more information visit or call 317-455-5529.

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