On the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which opens Tuesday, the organizers have released the results of a mega-survey on digital issues in publishing. More than 1,000 industry professionals from over 30 countries responded to the survey in the Frankfurt Book Fair Newsletter. Among the findings:
-- E-book timeline: More than 70 percent say they're ready for the digital challenge but more than 60 percent don't use e-books or e-readers and 66 percent see traditional dominating for at least the next five years. Only 7 percent see e-books as a main source of revenue by 2013, while only 2 percent would say so for e-readers. Forty percent expect e-content to dominate by 2018, but that's only marginally higher than the one-third of the group that says e-books will never take over.
-- Consumer evolution: More than half of those who responded think consumers will be more willing to pay for digital content by 2013, while 22 percent think consumers are driving the move towards digital.
-- Leading the way: *Amazon* and *Google* have almost equal billing with consumers when its comes to driving the change, 21 and 20 percent respectively. Not in the mix: authors (2 percent) and governments (1 percent). Sorting by countries, the US is considered the market leader for now (51 percent) with Japan (15 percent), Europe (11 percent) and UK (5 percent). They see the US dropping considerably and China coming in a close second to the US eventually.
-- Top challenges: In order: copyright, DRM, standard formats, retail price maintenance.
-- Potential partners: Mobile handset manufacturers and networks are seen as the most important future partners by 22 percent, with film, other consumer goods and music running close behind. Only 13 percent see the gaming industry as an important future partner.
By Staci D. Kramer