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

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.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

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.


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