A recent tracking study conducted by the NPD group, Entertainment Trends in America, reveals that most American consumers intend on spending as much or even more on entertainment in 2009.
While music digital downloads took the top slot, with 75% of consumers surveyed indicating that they would spend the same or more on music as they did in 2008, 65% of those surveyed said that will spend the same amount or more on video games. Indicating a favorable nod to downloadable content, in this case, specifically music, only 60% of respondents indicated that they would spend the same or more on physical CD’s. Although spending on theatrical movies did not take the top slot, tracking at 73%, this entertainment sector appears to be in the best position for growth, as the same question in the previous years’ survey logged only a 66% response from those polled.
Theatrical release films look like the big winner for ’09, over half those surveyed 51%, indicated that they’d purchased a DVD or Blu-ray disk during the previous three months. Console or portable video games took the number two spot in recent purchased with 36%, and CD purchases clocked in a 31%.
“Even in the face of a down economy, entertainment remains a popular spending category,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. “Most consumers say they’ll continue to purchase at least the same amount of many entertainment categories in the coming year.”
According to the NPD survey, the current per capita entertainment budget is $160 per month. However, this number is slightly misleading, as a majority of this spend is applied to dedicated television and internet access subscriptions. While we’ve all heard/seen/read predictions that consumers would start to trim the entertainment fat during the current economic downturn, the NPD study finds the only noticeable decline in magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Bad news for an industry already in turmoil.
These numbers clearly indicate that the entertainment industry as a whole may be far better positioned to ride out the current economic storm, NPD’s Russ Crupnick advises caution, “There is anxiety about the economy among entertainment buyers, increasing use of unpaid digital options for entertainment and competition for the entertainment dollar, but consumers have clearly shown that compelling content will get them back into the stores or theatres.”