… but how many know how to use them? The CEA claims in a new report that more than 152 million people in the U.S. — 70 percent of U.S. consumers — own some form of portable entertainment device and that they will spend $8.3 billion on content for them in the next 12 months. (The data comes from a CEA online survey of 1,724 U.S. adults between August 15 and 22.) Although the report is titled “Handheld Content: Measuring Usage and Subscription Service Opportunities,” devices include notebooks; the smaller computers and mobile phones are the most used devices. The most common activities: listening to music (nearly 70 percent of adults) and communicating with other via email. MP3 device penetration is up to 15 percent from 11 percent in 2004.
Despite the rapid move to digital, the CEA says much of the “handheld” content is still in the form of CDs and DVDs. Fewer than 40 percent of the adults online download digital files. From the press release: Steve Koenig, CEA senior manager of industry analysis: “Although the digital age is upon us, most mainstream consumers are really only ankle deep in the digital pool. 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.”
THe study also looked at subscription services, concluding that interest exists but awareness is limited. Only 16 percent of adults online with a device subscribe to entertainment services while 35 percent said they didn’t know the option existed. CEA’s conclusion? “This represents a significant opportunity for subscription-based content providers to educate the market and capture additional revenue.