Latest stats show the world’s total population at 7.3 billion. And over half of them – 51% – own smartphones that could be carrying our ebooks.
A quarter billion people have started using the internet for the first time just in 2015. 300 million people around the world have used social media for the first time this year. In almost every case that has been driven by globile – that is, global mobile.
And the growth rates are accelerating, not slowing.
The scale of our potential global readership is simply staggering, and growing literally by the day.
Obviously its not quite that black and white – not all smartphone users are actually connected to the internet, fewer still will be readers, and fewer still of those will actually be able to access our ebooks even if we have the best possible distribution.
But when we start talking numbers on this scale even tiny percentages can be massive in real terms.
As I’ve said many times, the global ebook marlets will collectively dwarf the US market over the next few years.
A full global overview will be available in early 2016. Meantime there’s a very instructive regional overview of SE Asia just released.
TechInAsia has a great post (LINK) on the digital transition in SE Asia (that’s roughly Asia to the east of India and south of China – essentially Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.
With over 600 million people – almost twice the size of the US population – SE Asia should be on every author’s radar as a place to reach readers.
And rather helpfully 250 million of them are active internet users and 230 ae active on social media.
Check out the TechInAsia post for a comprehensive breakdown.
Here to look closer at the social media element, where there are a few surprises in store for those of us who still think Facebook and twitter are the only shows in town.
Needless to say Facebook is still the biggest player.
But in second, third and fourth place are not social media networks at all but those annoying messaging apps we indies do our best to ignore.
WhatsApp at #2, followed by QQ, then Facebook Messenger.
Twitter next? No, not yet.
Next comes the social media network QZone, followed by another messaging app, WeChat.
Followed by Instagram, and only after Ingram comes twitter.
To be fair, twitter has a respectable 316 million users in the region, but Instagram has 400 million.
And racing up behind are, amongst the regional names we may never have heard of, more familiar players.
249 million Viber users.
230 million Tumblr users.
211 LINE users.
200 million Snapchat users.
100 million Pinterest users.
Drilling down regionally for targetted marketing by country will help you focus on which network or messaging app is best by country.
Facebook is massive in Indonesia, for example, but in Thailand LINE is almost as big as Facebook.
In the Philppines Viber is especially strong.
I’ll be dissecting the data country by country in future posts, and needless to say I’m counting the days until the full global report is released.
Safe to assume the same pattern we are seeing here in SE Asia is being replicated across much of the planet.
Globile is changing the world, literally, and part of that change is a fast-growing global publishing market quite beyond anything we could have envisaged back in 2009-1010. A huge, globile market in which indie authors and big publishers alike can play a role.
When I first began talking about a global ebook market driven by smartphones, back in 2011, it all seemed too good to be true.
Fast forward five years and the Global New Renaissance is real, It’s happening. Right now.
Books and ebooks are a central part of it.
Don’t let the incredible opportunities unfolding pass you by because a fixation on the US market is easier and more convenient.
Think about the next five years, not the next five weeks.