Summary of our market study

The global e-book market, estimated at $16.42 billion in 2023, is projected to reach $20.74 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.78% between 2023 and 2028. This growth is driven by technological advancements in e-reader devices, increasing smartphone adoption, and the availability of e-books in multiple languages. North America is currently the largest market, with Europe, including countries like Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany, and France, also playing a significant role. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumption patterns in 2020, with a significant increase in digital book production by 7.2% and a surge in e-book titles available, which rose by 9% over the previous year in Italy. The Italian e-book market, despite a slowdown in 2022 with an 8% decrease in value, is evolving with new trends like #BookTok influencers and digital bookstores in the Metaverse pointing towards a digital future.

Rising Trends in Italy's E-Book Market Amidst a Digital Renaissance

The Italian e-book market, a digital landscape rich with literary variety, is undergoing a fascinating transformation. Comprising fiction, non-fiction, academic, professional, and children's literature, this sector has evolved significantly. Despite a slight downturn in recent years, the demand for e-books in Italy remains robust, with particular growth in certain demographic segments and an increasing openness to digital reading formats. A survey highlighted that over 70 percent of Italians between the ages of 15 and 74 engaged in reading books, whether physical, digital, or audio, marking a three percent increase from previous years. Notably, younger readers between the ages of 15 and 44 are the most voracious, indicating a generational shift in reading habits. This is reflected in the distribution of e-readers who favor exclusively digital formats, which saw a significant rise from 5 percent to 15 percent within a few years. Remarkably, the Italian e-book market witnesses a clear geographical divide, with a higher prevalence of readers in northern and central regions. For instance, Trentino-Alto Adige boasts the highest percentage of readers at just over 50 percent, whereas Sicily sits at the lower end of the spectrum with around 27.5 percent.

Moreover, the market is riding the wave of digital trends such as the influence of #BookTok, a burgeoning movement on TikTok that encapsulates book recommendations, discussions, and literary enthusiasm. This social media-driven trend has not only attracted a significant following but has provided an invaluable boost to the visibility and sales of both classic and contemporary titles, hinting at the potential of platforms for future market growth. The e-book retail space is dominated by a mix of global giants like Amazon and national mainstays such as La Feltrinelli and Mondadori, competing on price, variety, convenience, and integration of reading technologies like Kindle and Kobo. They cater to a price-sensitive audience with e-books often being offered between roughly 3 to 11 euros, providing an affordable alternative to traditional paper books. Supply trends indicate a surge in the creation of advanced e-books that amalgamate text with multimedia elements, enhancing reader engagement and offering a cutting-edge twist to the classic reading experience. Personalized book recommendations generated by AI algorithms and machine learning are poised to refine the way readers discover new titles, adding a layer of sophistication to consumer preferences.

Cultivating Culture: Navigating Italy's Digital Publishing Landscape

Despite these advances, the Italian e-book market must navigate the complexities of.3.3 Pillars of Italian Digital Publishing Italy's e-book landscape is marked by a few key players that have been influential in shaping the digital reading experience for Italian book enthusiasts. Each of these pillars of Italian digital publishing has a rich history and has contributed significantly to the proliferation of e-books in the country.

  • Feltrinelli Editore S.p.A. – The Pioneer of Cultural Exchange Feltrinelli stands out as a beacon of Italian culture, having been at the forefront of publishing and book retail since its inception in 1954 by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. It has evolved from a traditional publishing house to embrace the digital era, offering a cornucopia of e-books accessible to readers on various digital platforms. Known for fostering cultural dialogue, Feltrinelli's presence is felt both in the tangible aisles of its bookstores and in the virtual spaces where readers convene to exchange ideas.
  • Mondadori Retail S.p.A.– The Versatile Publishing Titan Mondadori's establishment in 1907 marked a significant chapter in Italian publishing, with the company expanding its influence to touch every genre and form, from tangible print to the digital realm. It doesn't merely publish; Mondadori cultivates reading culture through a robust retail network that has become a familiar part of Italy’s cultural fabric. As e-books have gained prominence, Mondadori has adeptly shifted part of its focus to the digital shelves, stocking them with diverse titles that uphold its longstanding tradition of quality and breadth.
  • Giunti Editore S.p.A. – Cultivator of Intellectual Curiosity With its roots in the Renaissance city of Florence, Giunti Editore emerged in 1956 as a pillar of Italian publishing with a distinct intellectual allure. Its catalog is a trove of treasures for readers of all ages, spanning educational works to literary masterpieces. Digital publishing has only extended Giunti's reach, allowing avid readers to delve into worlds of knowledge and imagination with a few taps on their devices, all while maintaining the esteemed Giunti tradition of excellence.
  • Adelphi Edizioni S.p.A. – The Curator of Literary Gems Founded in 1962 in the culturally rich milieu of Milan, Adelphi Edizioni has earned its reputation as a guardian of the esoteric and profound in literature.
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  • Number of pages : ~ 40 pages
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  • Last update : 05/12/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Synthèse du marché

1.1 Introduction

The e-book market is the area of publishing that concerns the publication and sale of digital books. E-books are electronic versions of traditional books that can be read on devices such as tablets, e-readers, smartphones, and computers.

Several genres can be found in the e-book market in Italy, the most popular of which are:

  • E-books of fiction: novels, short stories, poems, literary essays.
  • Non-fiction E-books: books on history, science, economics, psychology, etc.
  • Academic and educational E-books: texts for higher and university education.
  • Professional E-books: technical manuals, trade books, practical guides.
  • Children's e-books: interactive picture books, children's stories.

The e-book is not a recent product, but it has ancient roots. In 1949, Spanish inventor Angela Ruiz Robles registered a patent that anticipated some features of the future digital book. However, it was in 1971 that the e-book was officially born thanks to Michael S. Hart's Project Gutenberg. In Italy, the change of pace occurred at the beginning of the new millennium, in 2002, with the publication of the first Italian-language digital books by publisher Giacomo Bruno.[AssociazioneGlicine]

The size of the global e-book market is estimated at $16.42 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $20.74 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growthrate (CAGR) of 4.78 percent over the forecast period(2023-2028).[Mordorintelligence]

The study will address the economic and structural aspects of the Italian digital book market; for more general information on the publishing sector or other complementary sectors, such as audiobooks, please refer to the specific studies available in the Businesscoot catalog.

1.2 The global market

The size of the global e-book market is estimated at $**.** billion in **** and is expected to reach $**.** billion by ****, with an annual growth rate(***) of *.** percent over the forecast period.

Technical development and sophistication of reading devices that provide an experience similar to reading a physical book are the key factors ...

1.3 The Italian market

The value of the miscellaneous market in billions at cover price (***) decreased by *.*% in **** compared to ****, which corresponds to ** million less spending. However, compared to ****, the market grew by **.*%, which corresponds to *** million more spending.

The value of the miscellaneous market in millions of copies sold shows a similar trend: -*.*% ...

1.4 Impact of covid-19

In ****, as a consequence of the covid-** pandemic, cultural consumption almost halved in Italy: -**% of average monthly household spending in December **** compared to December ****. It is clear that this figure has been substantially affected by those activities that have been completely or partially stopped by the restrictions imposed to counter ...

2 Analyse de la demande

2.1 Demand in Italy

According to thesurvey conducted by Pepe Research for AIE, in **** ** percent of citizens aged **-** say they have read at least one book, paper or electronic, or listened to an audiobook in the past ** months, three percentage points higher than in **** (***).

By distinction by age group, the largest percentages of readers ...

2.2 Demand drivers

The reasons that lead readers to approach the e-book format are clearly related to the advantages inherent in the digital nature of the product. So, the main advantages related to e-books are given below.



2.3 The geographical distribution of demand

The percentage distribution of readers present in each Italian region in **** is shown below. As can be seen from the map, the North and the Center have higher percentages of readers. In particular, Trentino-Alto Adige has the highest percentage, with **.* percent of readers. As for the Islands, Sardinia reports **.* percent readership ...

2.4 New trends in demand

The bookmakers: the influencers of reading

In the digital world, a new hashtag among lifestyle, make-up, and cooking influencers is gaining popularity among the younger generation. First appearing on TikTok during the lockdown, #BookTok unites all reading lovers to talk and recommend new reads to each other. It is a phenomenon ...

3 Structure du marché

3.1 The e-book stores

The competitive structure of e-book stores in Italy is characterized by the presence of a few large international and national players that dominate the market, as well as a variety of smaller, more specialized stores.

Major stores such as Amazon, IBS, and La Feltrinelli offer a wide assortment of titles and ...

3.2 The value chain

The following are all the steps that create value in the e-book industry, from content creation to final purchase.

3.3 The main players

The main Italian publishing houses active in the e-book market are listed below:

Feltrinelli s.p.a: founded in **** in Milan by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, is one of the leading publishing houses and bookstore chains in Italy. Originally focused on publishing, Feltrinelli later expanded into retail bookstores, becoming a significant presence in ...

3.4 Reading preferences

Several names stand out among the most widely read contemporary Italian authors in **** .

Alessandro D'Avenia - "What Hell Is Not": coming-of-age story of a character with a complex past; Paolo Cognetti - "The Eight Mountains": hymn to friendship and mountains; Donatella Di Pierantonio - "Arminuta": a story of ultimate resilience; Lorenzo ...

4 Analyse de l'offre

4.1 Supply analysis

E-books are for all intents and purposes books in digital format, as the word itself indicates. It should be specified that not all textual documents in digital format are e-books. In fact, the latter does not merely present the content of the paper document, but also tries to replicate its form ...

4.2 The prices

The price of a digital book is clearly lower than a paper book.

Seventy percent of e-books for sale on Amazon are priced between $*.** and $*.** (***).

The average price for Italian e-books is around €*.**. However, there are significant price differences depending on who publishes the digital book:

-e-books published by structured publishers ...

4.3 New supply trends

Rise of advanced eBooks

In ****, the use of advanced eBooks, which integrate text with multimedia components including photographs, videos, and interactive features, is expected to increase.

Readers can experience reading in a more engaging and interesting way through these improved forms. Although artificial intelligence-based storytelling does not yet match the quality ...

5 Règlementation

5.1 The legislation

Tax aspects related to the sale of e-books on specific portals

The most widely used mode of selling e-books is definitely indirect assignment. This mode of sale is chosen by authors who want to devote themselves totally to writing, leaving the commercial and economic aspects to third parties. Through indirect assignment, ...

6 Positionnement des acteurs

6.1 Segmentation

  • Feltrinelli s.p.a
  • Mondadori retail s.p.a
  • Giunti editore s.p.a
  • Adelphi
  • Amazon
  • Apple

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Latest news

Amazon exceeds 10 billion euros in sales in France - 27/09/2023
  • Amazon sales in France in 2022: €10.5 billion.
  • Sales growth since previous year: over 16%.
  • Sales in France in 2021: €9 billion.
  • Number of companies (VSEs and SMEs) selling on Amazon in France: over 16,000.
  • Number of Amazon employees in France: Over 20,000.
  • Amazon investments in France since 2010: Over €20 billion.
Virtual reality headsets, new Macs - 05/06/2023
  • Apple plans to unveil its first virtual and augmented reality headset.
  • The headset is expected to cost $3,000
  • Apple expects to sell around 900,000 units in the first year
  • Several Mac and iPhone applications will be integrated into the headset, such as Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Email and Messages, Maps, Notes, Music, Photos, Safari and Weather.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Feltrinelli s.p.a
Mondadori retail s.p.a
Giunti editore s.p.a

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