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Cultivating Digital Lifestyle Desire

According to Ipsos latest research, sophisticated digital devices and content delivery models are shifting market drivers from the supply side to the demand side: market drivers and barriers are less about what is technically possible and accessible and more about what is preferable and believable in consumers� evolving mental model of the digital ecology.

Several related dynamics drive this shift. First, the innovation saturation factor: consumers simply cannot grasp or fully take advantage of the wealth of technology potential available. Even as expanding options accelerate adoption curves for technologies like VoIP and movie downloading, this ramp-up affects the way consumers assess the next new product on the market.

The more consumers view technology as an experience-enhancing innovation rather than a staple appliance, the more willing they are to invest in learning about new features and benefits and actively consider purchasing new technology. And there is a �worth it� hurdle: the incremental benefit to the consumer, divided by the cost and hassle of experiencing that benefit (including evaluating alternatives and learning how to use the new technology). For many consumers, as digital options expand, this hurdle can be set higher and higher.

A second reality of today�s technology marketplace shift is the blurring of the lines between access points (airwaves, cable, RBOCs), interfaces or devices (PCs, cell phones, PDAs), and content providers (especially with the increased use of content customizing tools like PVRs, RSS feeds, wikis, and blogs). Further, renegades and pure plays (the biggest of which is Amazon) act as catalysts, forcing more conventional businesses to innovate (such as Internet telephony provider Skype moving into the instant messaging arena, T-Mobile�s WiFi pioneering, or the iPod and iTunes synergy).

While these dynamics involve both supply-side and demand-side considerations, the task of managing opportunities and risks rests more on tech firms� market development initiatives than in product development. Thus, strategic market insights are more critical than ever in creating successful consumer content engagement strategies.

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