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Shift of Kindle Bestsellers Towards Price Extremes

April 22, 2011

This chart shows the number of titles on the Kindle Bestsellers list that fall within each of four selected price bands each day. The shift of the market towards premium titles (over $10) and super-discount titles (under $3) is significant of late. Even since the disruption of March 1st when Random House went agency and repriced a number of bestsellers from $9.99 to $12.99, the trend has continued. Our working hypothesis is that as the increasing number of books in the super-discount band become available, that segment of the buying market will continue to congregate there. What follows is that the remainder of buyers as a segment are less price-sensitive than the entire market was, resulting in stronger support for premium priced eBooks as opposed to value priced eBooks (under $10).

daily price band distribution of kindle bestseller list

* Totals may be less than 100 on certain days due to exclusion of games and other non-book titles.

Today there are 35 super-discount titles (below $3) and 40 premium titles (above $10). Three months ago (1/8/11) those numbers were 26 and 19 respectively. Part of this shift is explained by the Random House change on 3/1, but the trend has been strong since then. Both of the middle bands have lost 6 titles each since 3/2.

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