20. Januar 2019

Metadata impacts on book sales

Nielsen’s research confirms a link between enriched metadata and sales

Nielsen has released its research in a White Paper which investigates the link between the quality of bibliographic metadata ...

and book sales. After its initial findings were released in November 2011, Nielsen undertook further research that provides more in-depth information about the impact of metadata on book sales, and also examines the difference in this impact for online and offline retailers.

Nielsen Book President, Jonathan Nowell, presented the results of the White Paper at Digital Book World in New York on Wednesday 25 January. In his presentation Nowell looked at various criteria, and explained that books with complete BIC Basic metadata and a cover image sell on average 98% more copies than those without. He also showed that this impact on sales is greatest within the Fiction genre, where titles meeting the BIC Basic standard have average sales 173% higher than the standard metadata elements.

The research also examines certain descriptive or enhanced metadata elements, and shows that titles with these enhanced elements included on their product record see a sales increase of 55% in comparison to those with no enhanced metadata. Looking at sales for online and offline retailers separately, the research shows that this impact is very much higher for sales through online retailers, where average sales increase by 178% for titles with all enhanced metadata elements. This is a clear indication that enhanced metadata has a greater impact on sales when you can’t see or touch the book.

Jonathan Nowell explains the research behind the White Paper: “For the first time we have built a bank of evidence to support and give some scale to the belief that appropriate metadata drives sales. We looked at three key areas in online and offline book sales: firstly the completeness of metadata of the UK’s top 100,000 titles for 2011; secondly which fields have the greatest impact and which genre is most influenced by good data; and finally the sales impact pre and post enrichment. The message is clear: to optimise sales offline and online (including e-books) invest in your metadata.”