Barnes & Noble
Supermarket & grocery
All other channels
The Children’s Market
The Nielsen research shows that teen readers who prefer to read e-books
rose to 21% in the fall of 2013 compared to 19% in the fall of 2012. While
most teens said they still would rather read print books, the increased interest in e-books, combined with the fact that more than 40% of teens already
own or plan to buy an iPad, Kindle Fire, iPad Mini, iPhone, or i Touch,
suggests that children’s e-book sales are certain to steadily rise.
The increase in e-book sales has a direct impact on where children’s books
are bought. As Hunger Games e-books sales surged in 2012 the percentage
of books bought from online retailers and through apps rose to 28% in the
first nine months of 2012, compared to 23% in the same period in 2011,
while sales through physical retailers fell to 63% from 68%. With the
decline in e-book sales in 2013, in the first nine months of 2013 online and
app outlets dipped to 27% of units bought, while physical retailers share
also fell by one percentage point to 62%.
Despite the important inroads made by e-books, the Nielsen numbers
show that the majority of children’s books bought are still print books and
are still acquired through physical stores. Breaking the numbers down
TRENDS IN HOW BOOKS
ARE PURCHASED (UNITS)
TRENDS IN WHERE CHILDREN’S
SHIFTS IN WHERE CHILDREN’S BOOKS
ARE BOUGHT, (EXCLUDING YA)
further, Nielsen shows that Barnes & Noble was the most important outlet for children’s book purchases in the first nine
months of 2013, accounting for 23% of units sold. Amazon was
a close second, accounting for 20% of units. No other single
outlet accounted for more than 7% of sales, a slice of the market
held by Walmart.
Excluding the catchall “other fiction” category, young adult and
picture books are the two largest segments within the children’s
market. The Nielsen data shows that in the first nine months of
2013, young adult accounted for 18% of children’s unit purchases, down from 21% in the same period in 2012, while the
market share of picture books rose one percentage point to 15%.
Series/chapter books, nonfiction, and coloring books rounded out
the top five favorite categories.