updated 09:10 am EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
Nielsen, WSJ team to factor in Kindle, iBooks
Nielsen on Friday broke with traditionalism and said it would start factoring e-books into its charts. Its BookScan metric would now include the Amazon Kindle Store, Apple's iBookstore, Barnes & Noble's Nook store, the Google eBookstore, and other stores would now be counted alongside paper titles. It will break out charts into fiction and non-fiction for both combined digital and paper sales as well as digital-only sales.
The Wall Street Journal will be the only outlet to publish the expanded results with information during the weekend.
E-book results have been published in other newspapers before, but Nielsen's results are considered a more absolute figure through scale. Its coverage of paper is believed to be accurate as it accounts for 75 percent of the market. Adding e-books will reflect "what people are really buying," BookScan VP Jonathan Stolper said. Exact sales won't be published, however.
Digital sales are rapidly becoming the preferred choice for reading in the US. Amazon is already seeing more e-books than paper through its own store, while Barnes & Noble saw the same a few months earlier. Apple as a pure digital shop has registered 180 million iBook downloads, although a lack of Amazon and Barnes & Noble numerical data makes it difficult to put the share in context.