Press releases

Millennials reluctant to read e-books

24 June 2015

  • 16 to 24 year olds less likely to purchase e-books than any other age category
  • Despite this, two-thirds of UK consumers consider reading books as an important form of entertainment
  • One in three Britons is reading more overall compared to five years ago

Almost two-thirds (63%) of 16 to 24 year olds have never purchased an e-book, according to additional findings from Deloitte’s Media Consumer 2015 report, which examines the media consumption habits of 2,000 UK citizens.

Deloitte’s research found that the adoption of e-books is weakest amongst the 16-24 age group, with just one in four (25%) buying one in the last 12 months. In addition, 26% of young people did not buy a book of any kind in the last year. By contrast, 38% of the next oldest generation - 25 to 34 year olds - purchased e-books in the last year, and e-reader devices can be found in 41% of UK households.

Instead of reading books, young people appear to be devoting more time to other forms of media for entertainment. In a typical day, 58% of young people will watch over an hour of television, 31% will spend as long playing video games and 67% will watch up to an hour of short form video. By contrast, just 14% of 16 to 24 year olds will read books for more than an hour each day.

Matthew Guest, Deloitte strategy director, said: “Typically regarded as the tech-savvy generation, millennials are actually quite reluctant to read books in electronic form. However, with such an array of media content vying for the attention of Britain’s younger consumers, it is no wonder that reading books is losing out as a form of entertainment. With a number of influential vloggers having recently seen success in publishing, it is clear from our research that authors, publishers and retailers must do more to appeal to younger audiences in order to remain commercially relevant.”

Overall, Deloitte’s research also found that reading books remains an important form of entertainment for two-thirds (62%) of British consumers. 80% of respondents purchased a book or an e-book in the last year, with over a fifth (21%) buying more than 10 books a year for personal use.

In addition, one in three Britons (34%) is reading more now compared to 2010, with just 17% reading fewer books. UK consumers are proud of being well-read: of those that regularly read books, 53% suggested their friends would describe them as reading more than the average person.

Guest added: “Our research shows that more than 80% of consumers are reading the same or more than five years ago. Clearly reading remains an important entertainment activity for the majority of Britain’s bookworms.”

End

Notes to editors

About the research
This is the ninth annual edition of research commissioned by Deloitte’s Media & Entertainment practice. The survey provides a ‘reality check’ on how consumers between the ages of 16 and 75 consume media, entertainment, and information, and what their preferences might be in the future.

The survey was carried out by an independent research firm (IPSOS Mori) during March 2015, using an online methodology with 2,000 consumers in the UK.

This year we also extended our approach to interview 16-18 year old students in focus groups at St. Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington, London and City of London Freemen’s School, Surrey.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

George Parrett
Deloitte LLP
+44 020 7007 7285
gparrett@deloitte.co.uk

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