Will Digital Outstrip Print by 2015?

Engadget reports that Sony’s Steve Haber, head of their digital reading business division, says that “within five years there will be more digital content sold than physical content.” That means not just books but all print media, including magazines and newspapers.

So, dear readers, what do you think? Is Sony just trying to create buzz? Are they just puffing the product line they expect to make gazillions on? Or are they right–digital sales will overtake print by 2015?

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.

5 thoughts on “Will Digital Outstrip Print by 2015?”

  1. That’s a bold claim, but one that has merit, I think. Personally, I think it’ll take a few more years than that (does that make me a pessimist, or an optimist?) but that the numbers will cross in the end.

    When was the last time you heard someone say that they didn’t like looking at pictures on-screen, and that they’d rather just thumb through a stack of photographs?

  2. Andy,

    I suspect that if will be faster than that, if you count periodicals. Books by themselves will probably take longer—at least academic titles. Popular titles will more than likely gravitate rather quickly to e-book, largely for the convenience and the “throw away” nature of most of them.

    But, I might be totally wrong…


  3. We tend to see this issue in terms of technology. Rather, I think the key word in the quotation is “sold.” The freeware distribution of ideas could easily become the next wave of paradigm shift.

  4. I don’t know. Very possibly. Thinking about my own usage it would seem to be yes but books still matter. I’m a graduate student and I buy lots of digital content and hardback books. I’m slowly migrating a lot of my reference titles to digital platforms where they are more easily searched and collated around the topic I’m researching. But I still by text books and other print books of interest. I have not bought a newspaper in more than four years. I read the news on my laptop everyday. We do still get a few magazines at home and read lots of childrens books. I don’t have any kind of e-reader and can’t imagine investing in one currently mainly because of the cost and the lack of desire to be tied to one platform. The news that Google is poised to enter the e-books world with Google Editions piqued my interest. “Google is promoting its e-book plan as a fundamentally different and more “open” alternative to its rivals’ stores. Though it will act as a retailer and sell books from its own site, it will also behave like a wholesaler and allow independent bookstores and other partners to sell its e-books on their own sites.” More open is what I am looking for and what will likely increase the percentage of my reading that is done digitally.

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