L.E.K. Consulting's Media Survey Shows 'E-reader Republic' Comprises Hungriest Consumers of New Media

Study Also Uncovers Five Areas of Opportunity for Media Companies and Advertisers

Jan 20, 2010, 09:00 ET from L.E.K. Consulting

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from L.E.K. Consulting's second annual "Hidden Opportunities in New Media Survey" of more than 2,000 households showed an explosion of e-reader purchases by a consumer segment that is significantly increasing its new media consumption. In the L.E.K. study, 44% of e-reader owners report that they increased their new media usage in the last year, as compared to 16% of "iPod Nation" and 19% of "Facebook Fanatics" who reported increased usage of new media.  Results from the study also indicated that one of every ten consumers who are online now owns an e-reader. The survey sample was demographically representative of the U.S. population over 18 years of age.

"The fact that Amazon sold more Kindle books than printed books on Christmas Day 2009 speaks volumes," said Dan Schechter, vice president and media and entertainment practice head for L.E.K. Consulting.  "We've dubbed the 10% of consumers who own an e-reader as the 'E-reader Republic,' and think that it is a potential goldmine for content providers and advertisers alike," explained Schechter. The survey also showed that almost half of e-reader users increased their consumption of books, and more than one-third of their consumption was incremental.  This means that many books are being sold that would not have been sold as traditional print books.

In addition to identifying the market potential of the "E-reader Republic" as an emerging target for content providers and advertisers, the L.E.K. "Hidden Opportunities in New Media Survey" uncovered five emerging opportunities as companies look for profits and new ways to engage with consumers:

  1. The "E-reader Republic" is driving growth in the book and magazine market and has a voracious appetite for new media. While iPod owners consumed about nine hours per week of new media, e-reader owners consumed more than 18 hours a week.
  2. Consumers are willing to pay cable providers for access to online video content. Up to 38% of consumers reported they would definitely or probably pay a $19 fee on top of their cable bill to gain access to their cable content online and on their mobile phones.
  3. Consumers are rampantly multi-tasking while online. One out of every three consumers spending time online is simultaneously watching television, and one in five is simultaneously listening to music.
  4. Internet radio is finally becoming relevant. 32% of respondents used Internet radio services, logging an average of 5.8 hours weekly per user -- eclipsing satellite radio in popularity.
  5. If they are online, older people (ages 50 to 64) spend significantly more time there than younger people (ages 25 and 39). Online activities among these age groups differ, with older people spending more time e-mailing whereas younger people spend a higher percentage of their online time on social networking sites.

The L.E.K. study contained many other findings, including data that showed that despite declines in local television viewership, television on the whole is still strong and growing. In fact, despite the recession, 19% of respondents increased their viewing of subscription-based cable television (a net positive of 6% respondents when compared to those that reported to have decreased their viewing). On average, consumers reported spending about 38 hours per week in front of a television set, compared to only eight hours spent online. Other findings in the television segment include data that shows digital video recorders (DVRs) are powering television's growth, and online television accounted for only 1% of total hours viewed.

The study leaves little doubt that major shifts in consumer behavior will carry forward into the new decade. Schechter concluded, "As new types of media and new consumer demographics move to the forefront, media companies and advertisers that understand and act on these changes can emerge as the winners."

Editor's Note: Dan Schechter and Bret Masterson, Vice Presidents within L.E.K.'s Media & Entertainment Practice, are co-authors of the L.E.K. "Hidden Opportunities in New Media Survey." For full details of this study or to schedule an interview with Dan Schechter or Bret Masterson, please contact Scott Montminy at (781) 791-4553, or email scott@inkhouse.net.

About L.E.K. Consulting

L.E.K. Consulting is a global strategy consulting firm that specializes in corporate strategy, transaction services, and performance improvement. Founded in 1983, L.E.K. currently employs over 900 professionals in 20 offices worldwide. Global clients include Fortune 500, FTSE 100, Eurotop 300, and many of the largest firms in Asia-Pacific. With a reputation for solving the most complex issues, L.E.K. collaborates with business leaders to accelerate the pace and precision of strategic decision-making.

As a leading advisor to the media and entertainment industries, L.E.K. possesses a deep understanding of the ways new entertainment technologies and a multitude of delivery platforms are transforming the industry. L.E.K. has worked with some of the most recognized companies in the business to assess and mitigate potential risks and uncover opportunities. Areas of expertise include broadcast media, communications, filmed entertainment, music, print media, book publishing, site-based entertainment, sports, electronic media, and video games.


Sarah Kulka

Scott Montminy

L.E.K. Consulting


(617) 951-9579

(781) 791-4553



SOURCE L.E.K. Consulting