Device matters: Trends in content consumption

David Gosen from Nielsen

Key questions: Most of them are hard to answer

We are a network society. Smartphones growing fast. Tablets big. Mobile commerce big and growing. Many screens, platform agnosticism important. Bullish about location and social services (meh, I'd like to see people do the basics first).

50-70m tablets. Low penetration (yeah, but how much do they spend on books etc. Meaningless without average revenue per user numbers). Extremely satisfied users.

Tablet owners share their device. Ereaders personal. Tablets are often used while watching TV. Tablet owners easily distracted. (Only if you look at total usage, we have no idea how distractible they are while working specific tasks.)

Over 50% see ads on tablets. 60% hate seeing ads. Most prefer apps that don't take you out of the app.

Email top use. Books high.

Ereaders are almost exclusively used for books. (None of this mentions hours in total, doesn't say if tablet users actually read less.)

$9.99 seems to be the max price mentioned for books.

(A lot of this is meaningless generic data that isn't actionable by anybody. Too few specifics. No attempts to see if this converts into actual behaviour in testing.)

CLV (wut? Acronym expansion people!)

(Next a bunch of common sense statements about not ignoring the customer's reality as it is.)

Online. Mobile. Connected. (duh)

Lindsey Mooney, Kobo UK

Price sweet spot is £4-4.99. People actually stay away from the cheaper ones. (It really is a huge spike in the chart.) Sales die in the upper range.

Most buy from Kobo website. Android mobile second.(No numbers on this chart so kind of useless.)

Sales through Vox good (but no mention of whether sales of Vox are good).

Higher conversion rate for people who browse through their ereader (95%, but what are the overall numbers, previous chart hinted that it was miniscule.)

Buy more at night, read during day. 30% read on more than one device.

Reading sessions increased by 33% with the addition of Reading Life. Over two thirds shared to facebook. (How many did so by accident due to a confusing UI?)

Pulse. Interacting in the book. Widget pulses when there is activity on the page. Really popular. (Popular here is relative, given Kobo's low market share.)

Possibility for using this activity data are endless. Merchandising is one. (Essentially thinking about new ways of categorising books based on their usage.)

Help editors revise and acquire new authors. Cookery great for pulse.

Making authors feel warm and fuzzy. Chat with their readers in the book. (Warren Ellis had the last word on this, IMO.)

(I liked the fact that Kobo is acting on their data. Very promising in that regard.)

Simon Andrews, from a mobile agency.

How people 'consume content' in this world. (That word again. Meaningless, 'content' varies too much.)

Mobile eradicates boredom. Devices are increasingly common. (Still seem to max out at 22% no matter what the category or age. Most much lower.) iPad market is growing like something malicious and incurable (my phrasing).

Notable stat: 63% have read books on their PC. Devices mean that distribution is diversifying.

Fans migrate towards the best available screen.

Smartphone users watch a lot of video. Youtube mobile booming. People multitask. (I doubt that this is observed, just self-reported. Essentially meaningless unless you have a specific task in mind you want to test and investigate.)

(Some speculation next. Meh.)

Payments? Social? (All kind of insubstantial without concrete examples that can be replicated.)

Old brands are moving into new media spaces. Getting their own vertical stacks in place.

Reasons to be cheerful (ian dury, yay!)

1. People love content. (Gah, that word again.)

2. People are willing to pay if it is made easy.

3. It's your move. Content providers have the content. (True, content, as much as Amazon tries, is hard to commodify.)

Time to experiment. Spend 20% of your time on well structured tests. (Perennial sound advice.)

William Higham, The Next Big Thing.

The future of tablets and ereaders. He's essentially going to make up a future scenario on the household of a single person ten years in the future. (So, fiction, fiction, fiction.)

Applied trends. What the future might look like given today. (Remind people to look up the turkey problem. The future's bright for a turkey right up until thanksgiving. Black swans, anti-fragility, etc., so on and so forth.)

Ghost of Christmas Future. The future is personalised, streamed, shareable, location based, updated, crowd sourced, subscription packages.

Everything on demand, including a subscription service for ebooks.

(Gah, kind of bored now. This sort of long distance, ten years out, future speculation is pointless and useless. Usually tells us more about the present day consensus among the digerati than about the future.)

More: Peer to peer reviews, Multi-function devices, chapter by chapter, book apps, multi media packages, pre loaded devices. (What did I tell you? More about today than the future, which is unknowable.)

(This scenario is a nice piece of creative fiction, of course. Wonder when he gets to the scars the adults got from WW3 and grandad talking about how the great depression forced them to cannibalism.)

More: Complex synching, multi-format delivery, multi-discipline, retail, leisure retail, new promo, plug in purchase, virtual shopping malls. (Ho hum.)

More: Switch off points, format options, soundtracks, sponsorship, in-book ads, customer usage data, non-traditional revenue.

(Talks about micro-optimising people's attention through the book. Sounds horrifying.)

(Okay, I'm not going to type up the next set of buzzwords. Bored now.)

(Boooored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Done.)