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Age is a Primary Factor in How Americans Consume Video Entertainment

When it comes to viewing TV and video, growth in consumer markets is more limited by consumers’ ability to absorb new usage models and new applications than by limitations of technology, according to a new US consumer survey from ABI Research.

“The willingness to adopt new forms of entertainment delivery is in many cases determined by the age of the consumer,” says ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson. “That means that market growth is simply a matter of time.”

The online survey, which examined avenues of video delivery and consumption, found age influencing several patterns of consumption.

  • Game consoles: penetration in the 18-25 year old segment showed no gain over last year, whereas penetration in the 65+ segment grew more than 200%.
  • DVR ownership: is up uniformly across all age groups. The technology has been available for some time and has permeated the mass market.
  • Video on Demand: 65% of the respondents over 65 have never used VOD, while only 30% of those in the 25-29 age range haven’t. However, 40-50% of those who have tried it continue use it at least once a month regardless of age. Says Wilson, “The first key to VOD success appears simple: get consumers to try the service.”
  • Internet downloads: downloading is only really popular with consumers under 30. Wilson: “The lack of wide video download popularity in all but the youngest group can very likely be attributed to inconsistencies in the process, a result of the industry’s immaturity.”
  • Video cell phone usage: consumers in their 30s are four times more likely to have watched video on their handset than those in their 50s. The wealthy, willing to pay the extra costs, are much more likely to watch video on their handsets than the less affluent.

Consumer Video Preferences and Profiles presents the results of an online consumer survey conducted by ABI Research in March, 2008, querying 1,002 video consumers on their viewing preferences and activities. It analyzes the results in terms of the respondents’ ages to draw some conclusions about generational changes in video consumption.

It forms part of the firm’s Consumer Video Technologies Research Service.

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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