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Annual Household Consumer Electronics Spending Drops $200

23 May, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Subscriptions to movie rental services experienced a 40% growth year-over-year

The average United States household spent $1,179 on consumer electronics in 2010 — down 17% from $1,380 in spending during the same period a year ago, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

The Arlington, Va.-based trade group said ongoing economic concerns and decreasing price points contributed to the decline.

The average adult spent $652 on CE products in the past 12 months, down from $794 the 12 months before. Women spent, on average, $520 on CE, down $111 from last year’s study. Men reported spending $793, down $176 from the 12 months before.

Forty percent of televisions in households are HDTVs, with LCD the preferred choice. Internet-connected TVs and 3DTVs, both included in the study for the first time, are driving video growth, according to the report. In particular broadband-enabled TVs are expected to have a quick uptake, with 10% of consumers planning to purchase an Internet-connected TV in the next year.

Meanwhile, the study also showed that households are increasingly streaming video content through their devices. Subscriptions to movie rental services experienced a 40% growth year-over-year. With more than 28 million subscribers, content providers have enabled access to services directly through displays, game consoles and other set-top boxes connected to the Internet. Greater broadband access will continue to increase streaming video subscriptions.

“Consumer ownership of most devices has increased despite consumers spending less on CE in the past year,” said Brian Markwalter, SVP of research and standards with CEA. “Several factors have led to a decrease in spending, including changes in consumer purchase patterns, product consolidation, decreasing price points and the high unemployment rate.”

Indeed, Best Buy in its two most recent fiscal periods has reported sluggish sales of connected TVs and 3DTV as consumers gravitate toward budget-priced TVs.

The average household owns 24 separate CE products, down slightly from 25 devices last year.

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