E-Book Readers Skew Male, Educated, Affluent

December 4, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Household Income | Men | Mobile Phone | Women

Perhaps not surprisingly, the approximately 2.1 million US adults who own electronic book readers are more likely than the average adult to be male, well-educated and have higher-than-average income, according to the most recent data from Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI).


The data also revealed that E-book owners are also particularly web-centric: They are 116% more likely than the average adult to be a heavy internet user. Moreover, they are 199% more likely to have accessed the internet using a Wi-Fi or wireless connection outside the home, and 154% more likely to have accessed the internet using a cellphone or other mobile device.

Additional findings about owners of E-book readers:

  • At 56.3% of E-reader users, men outnumber women (43.7%).
  • Adults ages 35-54 are the “sweet spot” for this product, as they are 20% more likely than the average adult to own an E-reader.
  • They are 11% more likely than the average adult to own their home and are 87% more likely to have annual household income of $100K+.
  • They are 111% more likely? than the average adult to have obtained a Bachelor’s or post-graduate degree.

“Clearly, users of the current generation of e-readers are highly educated, upscale and internet savvy,” said Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, marketing & strategic planning, at MRI.

The Future of E-Readers?

E-readers have seen a lot of attention in recent months, especially with Sony preparing to ship its Reader Daily Edition and Barnes & Noble’s upcoming Nook seeking to challenge Amazon’s Kindle, the current market leader. This rivalry within the online bookseller space also may present opportunities for advertising targeted toward specific geographies, genders or consumer tastes, writes MarketingVOX.

However, it will be interesting to see how quickly e-books catch on in greater numbers with the more mainstream population, and if they can avoid going the way of other tech dinosaurs such as the eight-track-tape player. While acknowledging the current interest in the devices, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal speculated whether – amid a sea of changing technology and a market that has not yet settled on a standard – today’s E-reader buyers are “sinking cash into a technology that could become obsolete.

“While the shiny glass-and-metal reading gadgets offer some whiz-bang features like wirelessly downloading thousands of books, many also restrict the book-reading experience in ways that trusty paperbacks haven’t, such as limiting lending to a friend,” the article said.

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