NPD Forecasts Hike In Entertainment Spend

Star Trek 2009 When times are tough, take some of that money you've been salting away for a new minivan and go see "Star Trek, the Movie." NPD Group says you won't be alone. The Port Washington, N.Y.-based firm says Americans will actually be spending more this year on entertainment.

 

The firm's "Entertainment Trends in America," a tracking study based on responses from 10,000 consumers 13 and older, says 75% of those surveyed said they will spend the same amount or more on digital music downloads as they did in 2008.

Nearly three-quarters expect to spend the same amount or more on movies in cinemas. The firm says theatrical movies are poised for growth because last year only 66% survey respondents said they would spend the same or more in theaters.

The firm says 65% will spend the same or more on video games, and 60% will spend the same or more on CDs. Print media experienced the only declines in spending on entertainment.

Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, said the downturn doesn't hurt entertainment spending. "Most consumers say they'll continue to purchase at least the same amount of many entertainment categories in the coming year," he said.

According to NPD, 51% of the respondents to its Entertainment survey purchased a DVD or Blu-ray disc in the first quarter this year, with 36% buying a console or portable video game. Only 31% bought a CD.

The report also says spending on entertainment in the U.S. is $160 per month per person, on average, with most of that going to TV and Internet subscriptions.

In the report, Crupnick said entertainment may not keep raking it in because of free digital media. "There is anxiety about the economy among entertainment buyers increasing [their] use of unpaid digital options for entertainment and competition for the entertainment dollar," Crupnick said, "but consumers have clearly shown that compelling content will get them back into the stores or theatres."

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