Smartphones Usher In Entertainment Revolution

The revolution may not be televised, but it’s likely to come through your smartphone via a streaming video service. 

According to the second wave of PayPal’s Digital Goods Economy Survey, the entire entertainment model has changed, from the ways consumers watch entertainment to what they’re willing to pay for, to how the content creators are earning money from it. 

“We found that mobile convenience is really what’s driving [things],” Melissa O’Malley, director, global initiatives at PayPal, tells Marketing Daily. “To that end, consumers are actively seeking out the most convenient way not only to consume digital media but also to purchase it.”

To that end, the smartphone has become the device of choice for entertainment consumption. More than half of consumers (58%) use their devices to watch movies and television, while an overwhelming majority (85%) use them to listen to music. 



The portability of smartphones has also changed the underlying business models for providing that entertainment. When it comes to music, for example, only 12% of U.S. consumers are interested in owning physical copies of their music (and only 17% want digital and physical copies). Most (39%) prefer to own music stored digitally or subscribe to a streaming service (28%). Millennials subscribe to streaming services and own digital downloads in similar numbers, according to the survey, but older consumers prefer owning their music. 

This switch streaming has also led to a greater reliance on subscription and streaming providers. Less than half of Millennials said they had canceled a video streaming service after less than 12 months, and half of all music streamers kept their accounts active for a year or more. 

“For companies looking to capitalize on this trend, there is a tremendous opportunity for those who offer streaming options compared to just downloads,” O’Malley says. 

With the smartphone the main vehicle for entertainment, it’s not surprising, then, that mobile transactions for entertainment are on the rise. According to the survey, nearly 70% of video entertainment consumers made a purchase through their mobile device, as did 72% of music consumers. 

“For marketers in the digital media business, ensuring your mobile platform is user-friendly and offers a simple and convenient path to purchase is essential to cross-border trade success,” O’Malley says. “Our data highlights that a ‘faster and easier’ payment method would encourage a consumer to switch from their current payment approach for digital media. Security was a close second for reasons why consumers would use an alternative payment method.”

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