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E-books on the verge of a breakthrough in schools

The share of e-books on the textbook market could increase to nearly 40% by 2021 according to a current study of the auditing and consulting firm PwC.

26 Feb. 2018 Dirk Bongardt
Source: PwC Communications
Source: PwC Communications

Over half of all German citizens welcome the increased use of e-books in class. Parents of school-aged children come in at 59% approval, and 68% of adults that read e-books themselves believe it would make sense to use them in schools. For advocates, the weight and space required compared to conventional books are the most important arguments, but the option to keep teaching materials up-to-date is another convincing point in favor of electronic books. But such a quick interest in electronic publications could present a challenge for many textbook publishers: Last year, classic print products represented 95% of sales in the industry.

Outside of the educator sector, the market for e-books is developing slowly: In 2014, electronic books only represented about 8% of publisher sales. According to a study by the Association of the Internet Industry, this figure is expected to increase to around 15% by 2019. This slowed growth is likely due to reservations on both the consumer and publisher sides – product privacy is just one of the challenges facing publishers.