May 1st, 2009
Mr. Benton reports on an article from a subscriber-based newsletter called Publishers Lunch, which reported that “…over half of reporting Kindle owners are 50 or older, and 70 percent are 40 or older.”
Benton quotes Publishers Lunch to the effect that:
It’s older folks — not the gadget crowd, not the young bookloving crowd, and not the mathematical intersect of the two.
The second finding of note from Publishers Lunch:
So many users said they like Kindle because they suffer from some form of arthritis that multiple posters indicate that they do or do not have arthritis as a matter of course. A variety of other impairments, from weakening eyes and carpal-tunnel-like syndromes to more exotic disabilities dominate the purchase rationales of these posters.
In other words, it’s primarily a particular segment of older folks that the Kindle appeals to — those for whom the traditional dead-tree reading experience is painful or difficult.
Benton notes: “But to my non-business-school eyes, that doesn’t look like the makings of a breakout hit on the scale that the oft-repeated phrase “the iPod of books” implies. After all, the Kindle audience demographically looks an awful lot like the print newspaper audience.”
A new perspective on the Kindle “phenomenon.”
Check out his blog (and the whole Nieman Journalism Lab site).