GVR Report cover Online Book Services Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Online Book Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Trade, Education, Science, Technology & Medicine), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-821-3
  • Number of Pages: 80
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global online book services market size was valued at USD 17.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2020 to 2027. Increasing consumers’ inclination towards reading books online or e-book rather than print one, coupled with the growing use of smartphones and tablets, is spawning more and more digital readers. This is expected to fuel the growth of the global market over the forecast period. In the past several years, digital readers or e-readers have gained popularity with a variety of consumers. Retirees who are looking forward to downsizing their homes and aiming to live a minimalist life to students who are tired of carrying around a backpack full of books are highly inclining towards online books, which offer the utmost convenient reading experience.

The U.S. online book services market size

Online books also make learning easy for users because most online editions include dictionaries, appendices, character summaries, and more. Thus, easy navigation i.e. by just clicking on a name or an unknown word, user can quickly find out more information that will make reading easier. This is also a great feature for kids who are learning to read. These factors are expected to drive the demand for online book services in the coming years.

The demand for online books is growing on account of exponentially increasing the sale of digital products each year. For instance, in May 2020, Walmart has released new versions of its Onn tablets, starting at USD 99 and including some uncommon features for Android tablets in that price range. The tablets run Android 10 and use USB-C to charge, and come with several Walmart apps preloaded, including the Walmart app, Vudu, Sam’s Club, and Walmart eBooks.

The global pandemic and the closure of most bookstores across the world are driving up eBook adoption. As per the Good e-Reader’s blog, in May 2020, over 2 million new users have registered with Kobo during the pandemic. The e-reader version of a book is less expensive than a hardcover or paperback and many online book providers offer huge discounts on books, thus attracting first time buyers. Moreover, an online book is an eco-friendly option as it contributes to the reduction in paper consumption used for paper books. Online books can be easily downloaded and can be stored on the device. It is likely to propel the market growth over the forecast period.

Several online book service providers are focusing on crucial factors of online books, such as discoverability and visibility. They are also focusing on marketing strategies in order to bolster their books in a crowded digital marketplace. They are increasingly focusing on marketing campaigns, coupled with online visibility with classic media outreach and publicity and promotion tactics. Different magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, podcasts, and their connected websites can significantly increase visibility and help them to reach the target consumers. Digitally savvy readers are more likely to make recommendations to others online via blogs, social media, etc. This is expected to create a positive outlook for the market over the forecast period. Despite the positive outlook, growing online piracy issues is expected to hamper market growth up to some extent in the coming years.

Product Insights

In terms of value, the trade product segment dominated the market with a share of 70.0% in 2019 and is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Most of the genres such as fiction, non-fiction, literature, and young children’s books to name a few are covered under this segment. Growing consumers’ inclination towards digitally reading of these books is foreseen to fuel segment growth in the coming years. Romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy are some of the popular genres amongst the consumers and their easy availability over the internet is likely to fuel segment growth in the coming years. As per the 2017 Author Earnings report, over 70% of all genre fiction consumer purchases are now in eBook format.

Global online book services market share

The education product segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2020 to 2027. The emergence of digital education and interactive learning systems is foreseen to fuel segment growth over the forecast period. Online books are easily accessible and known to simplify and enhance the overall learning experience. Digital books also make the learning process more interactive and engaging. Bringing digital technology into classrooms has had a positive impact on the quality of education delivered. Students and teachers have unanimously agreed upon the benefits of using online books in education. In addition, online books are easy to carry around instead of carrying a bag full of books and are economical as compared to paper books. These factors are expected to boost segment growth over the forecast period.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the global market by accounting for a 36.9% share in 2019. The rise in online book sales and free eBook downloads is a direct result of the increase in smartphone, tablet, and e-reader users. As per bankmycell.com, in 2019, over 260 million people in the U.S. had a smartphone and this number is likely to surge in the coming years. High internet penetration, coupled with a shift in preference among tech-savvy users from traditional books to online books, is expected to drive the market in the coming years.

In North America, the United States is foreseen to hold a dominant market share and projected to expand at a notable CAGR over the forecast period. In 2017, it is estimated that e-book user penetration in the U.S. has reached over 27%, amounting to around 90 million people. The most prolific e-book readers in the U.S. are millennials (ages 18 to 29), making up 34% of all digital book readers.

Asia Pacific is foreseen to expand at the highest CAGR of 7.1% over the forecast period. Shifting consumer preference from printed books to digital ones, coupled with a strong increase in the penetration of smartphones and mobile platforms, is among the key factors fueling market growth. The demand for online books in China is booming and young people are fueling this growth. As per the China Daily, the number of Chinese readers increased by nearly 30 million in 2018, and the majority of these readers were born in the 1990s and 2000s.

In addition, the sales of online books are surging because of the coronavirus-led national lockdown in almost every country in the region. As bookstores and schools continue to observe the lockdown order, the demand for online books is foreseen to witness traction in the near future.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is characterized by the presence of various established players. The impact of these leading companies on the market is quite high as most of them have a global reach and a large consumer base. In addition, the global market comprises midsize and small size players, which mostly serve regional customers and can be characterized by the selected portfolio of online book services. Most of the leading players are focusing on strategic partnerships to expand their reach and widen their consumer base. For instance, in March 2020, the Kobo had announced a strategic alliance with Australia’s largest online bookseller, Booktopia. This agreement will see Rakuten Kobo become Booktopia’s exclusive digital reading partner, providing eBooks, audiobooks, and eReaders to Booktopia’s Australian customers. Some of the prominent players in the online book services market include:

  • Amazon

  • Apple

  • Barnes & Noble

  • Kobo

  • Google

  • Smashwords, Inc.

  • HarperCollins Publishers

  • Hachette Book Group

  • Lulu Press, Inc.

  • Scribd, Inc.

Online Book Services Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 18.8 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 27.8 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.8% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; U.K.; Germany; China; Japan; Brazil; South Africa

Key companies profiled

Amazon; Apple; Barnes & Noble; Kobo; Google; Smashwords, Inc.; HarperCollins Publishers; Hachette Book Group; Lulu Press, Inc.; Scribd, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global online book services market report on the basis of product and region:

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Trade             

    • Education                 

    • Science, Technology & Medicine (STM)

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

    • Europe

      • The U.K.

      • Germany

    • Asia Pacific

      • Japan

      • China

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

      • South Africa

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