Bookwire and Rüdiger Wischenbart publish the second part of the Digital Consumer Book Barometer 2021

  • The second part of the Digital Consumer Book Barometer (first part published in June), is dedicated to the digital book markets in the DACH region, Brazil, Italy, Canada as well as in Mexico and Spain.
  • The report goes further in depth on the developments of various genre categories, and includes an analysis of continuing trends in the first half of 2021. The report aims to analyze sustainable growth and changing consumer behavior.

Frankfurt am Main, November 18, 2021 ­­- The Digital Consumer Book Barometer (DCBB) provides detailed insights and analyzes based on solid and exclusive market data from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, francophone Canada, Brazil and Mexico on developments for the past 18 months. The Digital Consumer Book Barometer is the result of the collaboration between consultant Rüdiger Wischenbart and digital publishing expert Bookwire.
International consumption of digital books

Stable growth in eBooks, audiobooks, and continued expansion in subscriptions, rentals, and streaming, reflect changes in reading habits among international consumers. Among other things, the DCBB provides an analysis of distribution data from the aforementioned European countries as well as from Canada, Mexico and Brazil. 

From the 1st half of 2020 to the 1st half of 2021, the sales of eBooks grew in the DACH region, with a 14% increase in downloads. Regarding audiobooks, there was a 32% growth in subscription and library business models, from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

The changing book market 

Corona-related growth in digital consumption has largely stabilized. In addition, the trends and preferences that have emerged, in relation to genre categories and price levels, can be attributed to shifts in market shares. eBooks and audiobooks now form an increasingly integrated field of digital consumption of books. In Western Europe and North America, general literature, crime fiction, and children and young adult fiction have benefited from the upswing, while reference books, such as self-help and guidebooks, have made the strongest gains in Latin America. In addition to purchasing books individually, alternative distribution and business models have become increasingly popular and more established. These include subscription or rental offers for eBooks and audiobooks, as well as various platforms offering permanent access to digital book collections, including from public libraries and from commercial providers—from the music streaming industry, for example. 
The above developments existed before the pandemic, but they have accelerated significantly in the last 18 months. They have gained momentum and revealed new insights and changes in consumer preferences. 
The latest edition of the Digital Consumer Book Barometer 2021 is available to download for free here. It was notably supported by Bookwire, DeMarque and IPDA (International Publishing Distribution Association). 


For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:
David Breitwieser Alfaro
Corporate Communications Manager Bookwire

About Bookwire & “Bookwire OS – One Solution”

Bookwire GmbH was founded in Frankfurt in 2010 as a service provider for publisher distribution of eBooks and digital content. It has since become one of the leading international businesses in digital publishing technology. Bookwire currently employs 150 people in Germany, the UK, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and the USA, who take care of more than 2,500 publishers in the fields of eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts and Print-on-Demand. The pioneering software “Bookwire OS – One Solution”, launched in 2019, has delivered, analyzed and marketed around 800,000 eBooks and 200,000 audiobooks in all relevant distribution channels. In addition to the latest customer analytics and pricing technology, publishing clients of Bookwire GmbH also have access to individual support from account & marketing managers who look after the clients from end to end. In 2019, the audiobook production solution “We Audiobook You” (WAY) bagged the business the first “Digital Publishing Award” in the field of B2B solutions. Bookwire GmbH is managed by its founders Jens Klingelhöfer and John Ruhrmann, and has branches in Barcelona, London, Mexico City, São Paulo, New York and Paris, in addition to the company headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and the "Digital Hub" in Dortmund.