E-book market adoption in Sweden
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge about why customers select e-books, paper books or audiobooks, and what differences exist for different customer groups. Considering that publishing is a really old business, well established hundreds of years before the internet, it is not surprising that disruptive new concepts as e-books, audiobooks and the internet require the companies to change their way of doing and looking upon business. Organisations need to alter their dominant logic in an appropriate way in order to be able to compete with newcomers that are not attached to an “old” dominant logic. Even though Swedish people are tech-savvy, the e-book market account for a very small proportion compared to the total book market. One important reason for the low proportion of e-books and digital audiobooks is that it is a relatively new market. It takes time for a new market to expand. Another reason is that many companies believe that profitability is too low. The fact that e-books and audiobooks have to pay 25 percent in VAT while the VAT on paper books is 6 percent doesn’t help. The impact of eBooks and audiobooks on the book market is related to the ease or difficulty of potential readers to utilise the available technical aids. This question has been analysed in the context of three partially overlapping theories about the individual's adoption of new technology. They are Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the United Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Theory. Furthermore, some theories for understanding of individuals' adoption of technical innovations in the book market are used. These are the Adoption-Diffusion Theory and the Innovation-Decision process. In order to gain increased knowledge about determining factors for readers' choice of eBook and paper book, a survey was conducted. Aspects such as demographics, reading habits, willingness to use eBook related services and interest in self-publishing a book were analysed. In our survey, we limit ourselves to an analysis of various individual factors that influence the individual's choice between e-books/audio books and paper books. The survey provides a lot of interesting findings. "Early adopters" in our survey are those who prefer the electronic option, but at the same time read many paper books. It is in this group we find the most frequent readers, not among the traditional paper book readers. Moreover, a low price of e-books relative to paper books makes it easier for readers to adopt e-books. We also found that the group of books who prefer paper books are de facto interested in e-books, but only if they are free or by subscribing to them. The technical conditions for expanding the market for e-books and audiobooks in Sweden are very good. The digital maturity and technical infrastructure are at the top of the world. Virtually all households have the technical equipment needed for digital books, especially among younger people. However, the market for e-books and audiobooks is quite new, which means that it is still very small compared to paper books. However, the rate of growth is high, especially in the form of subscription services.
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