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Competing for Digital Entertainment Platforms

Today, the personal computer remains the dominant hardware platform consumers rely on to access the Internet in the U.S., and has been instrumental in launching the age of digital media into mainstream America.

However, as the entertainment industry prepares for the growing interest in digital video and gaming services to complement digital music, recent research conducted by Ipsos Insight shows that some more avid media consumers prefer other hardware platforms to explore this next stage of the digital entertainment evolution. In related research, the company also found that Americans don�t have a huge appetite for replacing old entertainment options with new ones. Watching movies and TV content on the PC or portable devices is not exciting to mainstream America, yet.

As part of a wider survey of online U.S. adults about digital entertainment, most Americans today (88 percent) use some form of device that can display and/or deliver digital entertainment content (i.e., beyond basics such as a TV, or dial-up Internet connection from home). Among this majority of �digital platform� users, three in five (61 percent) prefer their broadband-equipped PC for digital entertainment purposes, dominating user preference for other devices such as cell phones (13 percent), video game consoles (10 percent), and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) like TiVo (8 percent).

However, among those who regularly use a DVR, preference for the DVR (37 percent) is on par with the broadband-enabled PC (39 percent). Console gamers also reported some degree of preference for their gaming consoles (31 percent) for personal entertainment usage in comparison to the PC (43 percent).

All of this seems to suggest that as digital video and gaming content enter more American living rooms, the PC may not be the silver bullet to drive trial and adoption of these emerging digital forms, particularly among early adopters. Todd Board, Senior Vice President of the Ipsos Insight Technology & Communications practice, says that device and content players need to carefully evaluate how they approach going to market with emerging digital content plays.

�While music lovers have adopted the PC as a primary device to tap into the digital medium, to assume the PC will play a similar role for avid fans of video and games may be premature, or at least simplistic. Those who have already adopted the DVR and game console clearly have forged a strong bond with these devices, and have �marked� themselves as avid consumers of higher-engagement multimedia experiences.�

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