Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble don't report sales figures for their respective e-readers, the Nook and Kindle. But one company, Crimson Hexagon, has taken it upon itself to formulate some opinions about the e-reader market by charting and analyzing Twitter conversations for both the Nook and Kindle, as well as the iPad as an e-reader.
This is one of the studies you probably have to take with a grain of salt because there are some mixed messages in the report. For starters, the title of Crimson Hexagon's blog post for the study is, "Nook emerges as serious contender in the e-book reader universe," followed by the subheadline, "Online opinion indicates new color Nook blooms late but bright for Barnes & Noble."
However, the post goes on to say that, "While the Nook readers have certainly established a solid and growing position in the e-reader market during 2010, our analysis also revealed that Amazon's Kindle is still by far the most popular e-reader on the basis of total conversation volume on Twitter."
Looking at the daily volume of "relevant" Twitter conversation for each of the devices, Crimson Hexagon found that conversation about the Kindle far outpaces the Nook and Nook Color, "consistently adding up to more tweets-per-day than both Nook devices combined (an average of about 1,000 tweets per day for Kindle vs. just under 500 per day for Nook)." Conversation volume for the iPad as an e-reader was much lower at 120 per day.
I think the key word here is "relevant" and how it was narrowly defined in the study. According to Crimson Hexagon, it appears to involve "consumer satisfaction" or the "drivers of consumer satisfaction" because 1,000 tweets about the Kindle and 500 about the Nook on a daily basis seems awfully low.
Anyway, here are a few highlights from the study:
Sentiment was predominantly positive for each device except the iPad (the Kindle, Nook, and Nook Color all had around 80 percent total positive conversation).
The iPad received less favorable sentiment as an e-reader because of its glossy LCD and large size.
Perception of the Kindle has remained relatively steady as well, with a slight increase in conversation about affordability from 11 percent to 14 percent (both the Nook and Kindle had price reductions this past summer).
Both the standard Nook (e-ink) and Nook Color came out on top in terms of percentage of total positive sentiment.
Twitter conversation indicated that support for library loans--a feature missing from the Kindle--is a significant driver of satisfaction with the standard Nook. "As a result, budget-conscious consumers may opt for the Nook over the Kindle in order to 'borrow' e-books from their local library at no charge."
Despite the Nook Color's price tag of $249, Twitter users largely perceive the device as affordable; 14 percent of relevant conversation involved positive perception of price, which seems to reflect the Nook Color's positioning as a lower-cost, "pseudo tablet."
Though the study is kind of interesting to pick through, none of this info is terribly earth-shattering, and we wish Crimson Hexagon had also looked at overall tweets for all e-readers, not just those pertaining to customer satisfaction.
(Via Fast Company)