Media tablets are on pace to become a ubiquitous, mass-market, consumer product faster than any-other previously released, technological device. The powerful implications of this rapid adoption on publication paper markets is the subject of a new study The Impact of Media Tablets on Publication Paper Markets, published by RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry.
The market for media tablets – consisting of tablet computers (including Apple's iPad) and electronic readers (including Amazon's Kindle) – exploded in 2010. By the end of the first year of availability, over 15 million tablet computers were in use. In North America alone, the size of the electronic reader market almost doubled, with over 10 million in use. Early-on, signs of trouble for the publication paper market became clear: In 2010, the top free app in Apple's iTunes store was iBooks; A Morgan Stanley inquiry discovered that 42% of US tablet owners will cancel their print newspaper subscription; In May of this year, Amazon.com announced that ebook sales now exceed those of printed book sales in the U.S.
"Many graphic paper producers make their living selling paper to the publishing industry, those companies will be greatly affected by media tablets," explains John Maine, RISI's Vice President World Graphic Paper and Study Team Leader. "Significant demand impacts could come as soon as 2012."