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It’s the One Media Device That Really Doesn’t Matter to Marketers

You would think that any report showing a rise in a media device would be of interest to marketers, but it’s not so when you’re talking eReaders. Why? Because eReaders are only just now starting to take on advertising and it’s a case of coming way too late to the party.

eMarketer has a new chart that shows eReader usage is on the rise. There’s no doubt this is true. With Amazon’s Kindle leading the way and the glut of Nooks that turned up under the tree this past Christmas, more people than ever are experiencing the joy of virtual paper. As it goes, the rise in eReader devices has led to a rise in the number of ebooks being published, so the logic is that this trend will continue.

Not so, says Nielsen. Now that tablets are all the rage, folks are setting aside their single-use devices in favor of a well-rounded workhorse. Their recent study showed that 27% of people who own both devices, now use their eReader less or not at all.

The good news for marketers is that eReaders have never been a viable marketing channel. . . unless, I guess, you’re an author selling books. Kindle’s new ad supported device is a step in that direction, but the presentation is like watching a black & white TV alongside an HD flatscreen.

eReaders may continue to rise in 2012, but as more reasonably priced tablets begin to flood the market, it’s unlikely that the rise will continue much beyond next year. It’s the CD player vs the iPod all over again and one step in the digital media path that marketers can feel free to avoid.