UK Evolution of Digital Media Survey Points to Consumer Rejection of Subscription Services?
The survey undertaken by HP illustrates that when it comes to the progression from physical to digital ownership of media, the UK population are far from being ‘Space Age’. The survey included 1,000 British consumers between the ages of 16 – 100 demonstrated that music fans are still strongly attached to physical media formats such as CDs and DVDs. Apparently little attachment is given to the monetary or emotional value of their digital content.
Some interesting statistics from the survey include: While 86% of the population access some form of digital media, 68% still prefer photographs to be physical rather than digital, 64% for music, 75% for films and a massive 95% for books. While the 16-24 and 25-34 age groups are the most enthusiastic when it comes to digital media, many of them (39%) are still purchasing CDs and DVDs alongside digital formats.
Most importantly, 73% of the people surveyed stated “they can never see a time when they would move to a 100% subscription model for their music and films”. So what does this signify for the likes of Spotify and we7.com in the UK? We should be clear that the survey was only of the UK population. Yet, as it was a company such as HP, which has no vested interest in music or films, one has to be confident its survey is probably one of the most unbiased in terms of questions and weightings given to answers.
As stated by Shaun Hobbs, Home Server Manager for HG PSG UK “In this technologically driven age it is easy to get carried away and think that everybody is embracing digital and leaving physical behind. Our survey shows that this isn’t the case. Britons are on an evolutionary journey with media still being bought on multiple formats and enjoyed using a variety of devices.”
It is interesting to note what the survey neglected to collect data on; namely the reasons behind why the majority of UK consumers cannot see themselves ever moving 100% over to subscription based models.
Another interesting fact to come out of the survey was that the average British consumer’s digital media collection had a value of £482. Yet again though, it does not provide any insight into what period of time it took to get to that value level in terms of digital media content.
In TMV’s view, the key result of this survey is that UK consumers are not yet willing or ready to give up the ‘old school’ manner in which they purchase music and film content just yet. On a positive note, and almost contradictory to the survey’s findings, it is clear from the results that UK consumers are treating their digital content libraries as a utility. So obviously there is some hope for subscription models yet. Let’s hope so, because despite the survey’s findings, physical sales of music content have experienced significant drops over the last five or more years.
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