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Decline of "Passive" Entertainment Consumer

Attracting early-adopters is critical for vendors of new consumer electronics devices, and the profile of the informed progressive user is changing, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Early technology adoption is no longer constrained by income, education, ethnicity, or social status. As a result, a larger percentage of young adults than in the past consider themselves to be early-adopters.

"Whether it is TV Everywhere initiatives, over-the-top video services, Web-to-TV devices, or 3D digital televisions, the market success of each new innovation will be dependent on attracting early-adopters," says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. "Yet, many of the characteristics that defined early technology adopters in a pre-Internet world no longer apply."

In-Stat's research identifies that U.S. early-adopters are much more likely to: Subscribe to premium pay-TV channels; Two-thirds get at least one premium channel; Over 50 percent receive HBO; Subscribe to a DVR service; View VoD content; View fee-based on-demand movies; Purchase pay-per-view content; Subscribe to fee-based sports content; Spend more than 5 hrs per day viewing video content.

I would add one key evolutionary characteristic to In-Stat's list -- early-adopters believe that the traditional pay-TV offering is becoming obsolete and prohibitively expensive, that's why they've embraced a Neflix subscription service.

Netflix subscribers manage their personalized content Queue based on trusted adaptive recommendations, and consider the traditional one-size-fits-all linear TV channel model to be archaic, by comparison. Therefore, the "passive consumer" era is doomed to a rapid decline.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- By 2013, nearly half of total U.S. households will have an adult that considers themselves to be a leading-edge or early-adopter of technology.

- In-Stat recently developed new end-user segmentation that identifies Power, Social, and Passive consumers. Segmentation is based on the number of different Internet activities and the frequency that they are performed.

- Over the next five years, Internet power-user households will double in number, and nearly two-thirds of U.S. broadband households will be power or social users.

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