Comparing Ereader Buzz

An interesting research report was circulating online recently that looked at the amount of attention various ereaders have attracted. Published by General Sentiment, the report looked at what it calls Media Value, or the dollar value of the buzz, content, and conversation generated online about ereaders. In other words, how much would the talk online about a specific ereader be worth in traditional advertising dollars?

The research firm tracked buzz from October 1 to December 8. Not surprisingly, the winner in this test was the Amazon Kindle, which General Sentiment says generated a Media Value of $75 million. The closest competitor, the Nook, generated $27 million. Interestingly, General Sentiment found the Sony Reader was primarily discussed in relation to other ereaders, and increases in mentions of the Sony Reader corresponded to news about Kindle or Nook.

It seems one of the points to take away from the report is that companies that know how to generate buzz will probably have more sales. General Sentiment commented that Amazon seems to know how to do this very well. Research found that the company’s announcement about new features, Black Friday sales, and the Kindle’s sales figures all created significant buzz online. The companies that get their name out in front of the public are most likely going to win out in market share.

The Nook was able to generate a lot of discussion when the color version was announced. But overall, Nook is not creating the kind of online buzz the Kindle has been able to produce.

When we think of companies generating buzz, it would seem the top prize would have to go to Apple. This company knows how to hype a simple product launch to stratospheric levels, and to get journalists to hang on Steve Jobs’ every word.

If General Sentiment has it right, then more news and announcements should be the goal of consumer electronics companies.  But at the same time, companies have to have something to announce.

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