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Disc Sales Hard Hit Online

14 May, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Online purchases of DVDs and Blu-ray Disc were among the hardest hit categories during the first quarter of 2009, with a 22% drop in overall consumer spending year-over-year, according to data released May 14 by Web research firm comScore.

“It’s pretty clear that consumer attitudes have changed … in terms of home entertainment,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni, during a presentation of first quarter online spending results.

The only category hit harder than music, movies and video during the three-month period was office supplies (down 28%), and while consumer spending overall was flat during the period — a positive sign after quarterly online spending growth was down 3% in the fourth quarter, the first year-over-year drop in online spending ever — there’s little sign of improvement in the coming months.

“My conclusion from this is that consumers still remain very, very cautious in this economic environment,” Fulgoni said. “I think we’ve bottomed out. … The good news, albeit small, is we’re looking flat.”

Some other interesting news for home entertainment came from the report: During the quarter, online consumer spending on music, movies and videos was 8% higher than spending on home media at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and three quarters of consumers said they shop online before they ever buy anything at a physical retailer. Also, those online shoppers who view videos online have 20% more buying power than those who don’t, comScore reported.

The firm also shared statistics that showed 53% of respondents said they would curb their online spending for at least the next 12 months. Spending among those making less than $50,000 a year was down 10% year-over-year, while shoppers over the age of 45 making between $50,000-$100,000 spent 11% less.

“A dollar saved is a dollar not spent,” Fulgoni said. “They have the money to spend, but are choosing not to spend it.”

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