16-24-Year-Old Readers And Their Books: #PorterMeets Luke Mitchell

Image - iStockphoto: hjalmeida
Image – iStockphoto: hjalmeida

With all the pleasure any good teenager has in proving his elders wrong, the 16-to-24-year-old age group might seem at times to delight in confusing marketers.

And at Thursday’s The Bookseller Children’s Conference, in London, some of Luke Mitchell’s comments to the audience will help sort out what may be behind that demographic’s role in publishing’s fastest-growing sector.

The conference hashtag is #kidsconf14 — a good one to follow Thursday.

Mitchell is head of insight at Voxburner, which focuses its research efforts on that age bracket in the UK — one of the most coveted and yet at times puzzling. As The Bookseller’s children’s editor Charlotte Eyre has reported, the UK children’s market is up 10 percent year-over-year in the first eight months of 2014 according to Nielsen BookScan data. As Eyre wrote:

If the market stays more than 10% ahead of last year’s figures, it is projected to be worth £337m in 2014—the best year the children’s sector will have had since BookScan records began in 1998. Most kids’ categories are showing growth. Sales of children’s fiction, YA titles and picture books are all up, with only a slight dip (-2%) in sales of pre-school books.

And yet, many in the business readily concede to surprises, especially in what can seem to be counter-intuitive responses among late-teen and early-20s-aged readers to digital offerings.

Luke Mitchell
Luke Mitchell

In March, Mitchell produced a list of 5 reasons young people aren’t buying ebooks, based on Voxburner’s research results. According to what respondents told Voxburner, those reasons to reject ebooks are, as excerpted from that article:

  • eBooks are thought by this age group to be too expensive.
  • Print, physical books — and the experience of reading them — are preferred.
  • Respondents don’t have e-readers. (Twenty-five percent said they’d consider reading on a smartphone.)
  • Respondents like to show off physical books.
  • Respondents “resent being enslaved to technology.”

In our #PorterMeets interview with Mitchell, he told us that in this week’s conference, he’ll expand on some of these data points and update the research for attendees at Southbank Centre.

And as he looks at the data his Voxburner team brings to the table now, Mitchell says, understanding what the “16-24s” are telling us is about following the money:

Read the Full Story at The FutureBook

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By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: The Bookseller Children’s Conference: #PorterMeets Voxburner’s Luke Mitchell

Read the full post at: FutureBook.net


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