When the habits of young people shifts, all of us Marketing hacks take one look and say, "yup, that's where we're heading." More often than not, it is the case.
There might be some kind of irony that the NPD Group has released a new study, Kids and Digital Content III, around the same time that CES is happening in Las Vegas. As people trot along the tradeshow floor, checking out the latest and greatest in anything and everything electronics you can imagine, this new report might act more like a downer for anyone who shelled out the shekels for booth space and hotel suite parties. The good news is that as far as the eye can see, the content may be going digital, but we still need something physical to play it all on.
The study found, "an increasing number of kids acquiring their entertainment content digitally rather than through physical means in 2008."
"The report also examines the use of entertainment content on CE devices among kids in the same age group, focusing on content acquisition on computers, portable digital music/video players (PDMP), cell phones and video game systems. Though each device is traditionally associated with one type of content (ringtones on cell phones, for example), NPD found that CE convergence is on the rise, with more cell phone users in the age group listening to music and sending/receiving images on their handsets than in previous years. PDMP users were also watching music videos on their portable players. Also, kids spent 12% of the time on their video game systems watching movies."
It is, without question, habit forming. For many years, I have been pushing the idea that many of the more advanced gaming consoles were much more than that. These gaming platforms are quickly becoming the entertainment center of the entire house. It acts as the place to host and play music and movies, connect with friends, share pictures and, oh yeah, play games as well (and the price is fairly affordable if you contrast it with the many appliances and hardware that your parents used to need to power the den). Clearly, the gaming systems are the gateway, but here we are - once again - faced with incredible challenges for both the content producers and the media companies.
Maybe all of those traditional companies need to stop sniffing around the Blogs and Online Social Networks, and need to be looking a little further into the future at gaming consoles and other channels where the media might be centralized and consumed?