Consumers comfy buying downloads

Survey says movies, TV shows are most popular buys

Americans are spending an average of $166 per month for digital downloads from such services as cable TV, the Internet, mobile phones and digital subscription services like satellite radio and Netflix.

According to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 56% of the 1,005 adults questioned believe digital products and services make spending a snap, with more than four in 10 adults in the U.S. paying for such downloads.

Movies and TV shows are the most popular, with 21% of adult Americans buying. Songs and apps tie for second at 18%. E-Books and games come in third with 12% of adults buying each. Americans download and pay for an average of five songs per month, five movies or TV shows, two apps, two games and two e-Books. (The numbers are medians and exclude those who do not download.)

Young adults (ages 18-34) are most likely to buy downloads, with 56% of the age category participating. But the 35-44 age group is close behind, at 51%.

It’s unknown whether such buying is offsetting losses in sales of content on hard media.

Digital purchases

Percentage of U.S. adults by age group who download and pay for any digital product or service:

    • 18-34: 56%

    • 35-44: 51%

    • 45-54: 42%

    • 55-64: 30%

    • 65+: 15%

Source: AICPA survey

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