Forrester research estimates that by 2013, over 13 million US consumers will use some kind of e-reading device.  Amazon’s e-reader Kindle is the current leader as it has sold more than 1 million units since its 2007 debut.  Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple and Google are also all looking to create their own e-readers to rival Amazon.  Knowing what a large, untapped advertising market this is, it was only a matter of time until marketers figured out a way to get their message to consumers through these e-books.

There are several methods that advertisers might take in order to advertise to the e-reader consumer.  The first is sponsored books.  ITaggit, is a web property that helps collectors organize and track the value of their collectibles.  They are going to sponsor 30 Wowio Classics.  The first page of the sponsored book reads: “ITaggit is proud to sponsor this e-book for [registered user]” and it includes a link to ITaggit’s website.  This is the only advertising that is in the book.  Verizon Wireless also sponsored Wowio Classics but they gave away books as thank-you-gifts for subscribers who went to paperless billing.

The second plan of attack for marketers is offering customers full-priced books or they can purchase the books for half price but the discount books will be partially underwritten by the advertisers.  For people that can focus on the book without letting the constant advertisements on their screen obstruct the story, this could be a very good option.

Every idea at this point is experimental.  The success of the two advertising opportunities listed above will depend on the consumer as well as the advertiser’s ability to seamlessly integrate their message without alienating the consumer.  For more on this new e-book advertising opportunity, go to: http://adage.com/article?article_id=138030

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