NPD: Few Americans are consuming digital media

Market-research firm NPD finds that a whopping 75 percent of people over the past three months have not used or downloaded multimedia content.

CBS Interactive

Connected devices are still having trouble finding a mass audience, a new report from market-research firm The NPD Group has found. But that is likely to change over time.

According to NPD, a whopping 75 percent of all U.S. consumers did not connect to or download multimedia content, including games, music, video, or e-books, over the past three months. The majority of consumers who did search for and download such content--15 percent--did so mostly on their PC or Mac as opposed to other types of connected devices, such as video game consoles, mobile devices, or Blu-ray players.

Unfortunately for some device makers, these other types of Internet-enabled products trailed far behind computers as the solutions folks used most to download content. According to NPD, game consoles were used to access or download online media by just 6 percent of consumers, while 4 percent of American customers used a smartphone to download content. Only 2 percent of consumers said that they use a Blu-ray player or a set-top box like the Apple TV to download content.

"What we learned in our research is that while some people already experience the world in a connected way, most do not," Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior entertainment analyst for NPD, said in a statement.

Although those figures might be sobering for device makers, NPD did say that there is a "large and untapped market for devices that offer connected capabilities." According to the firm, consumers are starting to access more content. Smartphone users, for example, are "increasingly accessing a range of media services, from games to music to video to productivity apps," NPD said.

NPD also touched on video games. The firm said that, thanks to connected devices that offer users access to traditional games as well as casual titles like FarmVille, the gaming industry has witnessed unprecedented "audience diversification and expansion."

Looking ahead, NPD has high hopes for the connected environment.

"The promise of the connected experience is coming," Crupnick said. "The doors are also opening wider for music, video, gaming, and other forms of entertainment."

 

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