According to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), more than 152 million Americans, or 70 percent of the total U.S. adult population, own portable entertainment devices.
The study, titled Handheld Content: Measuring Usage and Subscription Service Opportunities, measured handheld content usage among adults and explored the market opportunities available to companies involved in developing and marketing a wide variety of content for portable devices, such as music, movies, communication applications, and games.
"The increasing number of consumers who own portable entertainment devices is creating a huge market for handheld content," said Steve Koenig, CEA's senior manager of industry analysis. "In fact, we estimate that consumers who own these devices will spend U.S. $8.3 billion on entertainment content in the next 12 months. As the mix of options unfolds, it's important for the industry to understand what content consumers are most interested in, how they prefer to access it and how much they are willing to pay for it."
Study results indicate that listening to music and communicating with others via e-mail are the most common activities for adults using portable entertainment devices. Some 68 percent of online adults use their devices to listen to music. Wireless phones and notebook PCs are the most common devices used to access handheld content. MP3 players are continuing to gain traction in the market, with household penetration at 15 percent, up from 11 percent in 2004.
The CEA study found that, even though technology and media content are moving rapidly toward the digital domain, much of the content remains in physical form, such as CDs and DVDs. Less than 40 percent of online adults take advantage of digital files downloaded to portable devices directly from the Internet or PC hard drive.
"Although the digital age is upon us, most mainstream consumers are really only ankle deep in the digital pool," said Koenig. "While consumers are beginning to employ digital content for portable devices, it will likely take years before electronic file folders outnumber CD and DVD cases."
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