More Americans favoring paying for digital books, movies (report)

More Americans favoring paying for digital books, movies (report)

Summary: More mobile devices and access to content are two factors contributing to an increase in media consumption in the United States, according to a new report.


As digital music sales surpass physical copies for the first time, it could represent a larger trend at play for digital content in general.

Digital content consumption is growing on every platform available, from e-book readers to smartphones to DVR machines, according to Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy survey.

Although this might not seem like much of a revelation, the basic takeaway point from the report is that the proliferation of mobile devices with better technology (i.e. smartphones and tablets) has boosted access to multimedia content, therefore causing a rise in consumption of digital online content.

However, there might be a chicken-and-the-egg situation here as to what was actually the incentive: was it the content that drove the need for the development of these devices, or is more content being created because the technology and audience are ready? That's not answered in the report, but it's something to ponder.

Here are some of the highlights from the study:

  • Americans are beginning to use smartphones as “all in one” devices for various tasks. Thus, Deloitte argues that manufacturers of devices with one purpose only need to rethink their strategies.
  • In what could be one of the first pieces of good news for newspaper publishers in a long time, Deloitte found that newspapers are benefiting from increased accessibility via smartphones, especially among Millennials (typically categorized as people between the ages of 18 and 32).
  • Americans still value cable TV and satellite TV above most other services, but DVR was cited as the second-most preferred means of watching one’s favorite TV show.

The two digital commodities that seem to be profiting the most from the proliferation of digital content would be books and movies.

For example, in 2009, only 28 percent of Americans reported streaming a movie. Now, 42 percent report that they stream films online. Furthermore, more than a third of Americans (36 percent) have expressed interest in downloading books, magazines and newspapers to a mobile device -- a 13 percent increase from 2007.

For reference, the report findings are based on responses from approximately 2,000 consumers between the ages of 14 and 75 years old in the United States.


Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: More Americans favoring paying for digital books, movies (report)

    Yet, the big media companies are claiming that file sharing is killing their industry. They have never lost sales to file sharing because the few who are engaged in that activity never planned to buy in the first place. All of their efforts to combat this have only resulted in angering their high-consumption, paying customers, like me.

    One thing that didn't seem to be highlighted in the report is the fact that prices on some of the content are finally dropping to a more reasonable level. In my mind, this is, by far, the biggest reason more content is being consumed. People don't like buying when they feel as if they're being ripped off. Consider the big drop in subscribers when Netflix jerked their customers around. Consider that digital copies are often included as part of a movie purchase, now. Consider that Ultraviolet streaming is also being packaged as a bonus with purchased media. Better value and better pricing boost consumption. Seems pretty obvious to me.
  • RE: More Americans favoring paying for digital books, movies (report)

    This only goes to show that mobility is increasingly important. As mobile technology is rising in need, more companies will need to be able to adapt to their customers needs by offering more products available on mobile devices.