PwC: the U.S. consumer ebook market will be bigger than the print book market by 2017

and less trees will be chopped down! There will be loads of issues to address though, one major issue being piracy.

Gigaom

Lots of different outlets are trying to project the size of the U.S. ebook market and how fast it’s growing. In its annual “Entertainment & Media Outlook,” set to be released Wednesday, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) estimates that trade (consumer, not educational or academic) ebooks will drive $8.2 billion in sales by 2017 — surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period.

Here’s how the firm thinks the trade print and ebook markets are going to evolve. Note that figures are projected from 2012 onwards.

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The total size of the trade book industry, PwC estimated, will be $16.1 billion by 2017 — smaller than it was in 2008, with ebooks not quite able to pick up the slack as the print market shrinks.

PwC also projects that ebooks will make up 38 percent of all book sales — both…

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