A 2020 survey on Canadian leisure time and reading habits released by industry non-profit BookNet Canada on April 20 has found that readers are much more likely to be podcast listeners. While 59% of readers listened to a podcast at least once in the last year, only 18% of non-readers can say the same. Moreover, audiobook listeners and ebook readers listen to podcasts more often than print readers.
The survey, which is regularly conducted each winter, asked 1,266 Canadians if they had read or listened to a book at least a few times in the past year — with 8 in 10 Canadians saying they had, continuing the trend from the past five years. When asked which formats (print, audio, ebook) they consumed, 64% of readers reported reading multiple formats while 45% only read digital books. Almost half of all readers said they had listened to an audiobook in the last year (49%).
There are clear downward trends for using e-readers and computers for ebook reading from 2014 to 2020: E-reader use is down about 10% and computer ebook reading is down around 5%. Ebook reading on tablets is mostly flat across those six years. There is a jump of about 15% from 2014 to 2020 for ebook reading on smartphones. Audiobook listeners are also primarily using their smartphones to listen, followed by tablets.
The results of the study also showed that more digital readers used the library and fewer people got ebooks from free internet sites in 2019 compared with 2018. The percentage of readers buying physical books (print and physical audiobooks) from a general retailer also went up slightly during this time.
The full study includes data on how readers and non-readers spend their free time, how readers spend their reading time, how readers discover & acquire their books, popular Fiction and Non-Fiction genres, the overall reading experience, and more. Find it all in the free Canadian Leisure & Reading Study 2020 here: booknetcanada.ca/canadian-leisure-and-reading-2020.
BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry.
— BookNet Canada