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EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: DVD Owners Surf, Buy More Online

19 Sep, 2002 By: Judith McCourt


DVD households with computers are more active on the Internet than their VHS-only counterparts.

That's according to an exclusive survey of more than 900 households conducted for Video Store Magazine in the second quarter of 2002.

DVD households with computers on average spent 13.9 hours a week, or 25 percent more time than their VHS-only counterparts, surfing the Web. In addition to spending more time on the Internet, DVD households with computers are more likely to download music, movie clips and trailers.

The study also suggests that PC availability in the home extends the reach of DVD into more U.S. households. Thanks to DVD drives, 23 percent of VHS-only households (those who don't own DVD player consoles) have access to DVD through their home computers. By comparison, 49 percent of DVD households have additional access to the format through their PC. At the time of the survey, DVD console penetration was 33 percent; it jumped to 48 percent including PC drives.

Seventy–eight percent of DVD console households have access to a computer in the home. These computers are more likely than not to have a DVD drive as well as access to the Internet. Almost two-thirds of DVD households with a computer said it was equipped with a DVD drive, and a whopping 90 percent said they had access to the Internet.

By comparison, 60 percent of VHS-only households had computers, and 39 percent of that group were equipped with a DVD drive. VHS-only households with computers are also frequent Internet visitors, with 80 percent saying that they go online. However, these households are likely to spend less time on the Web, with respondents saying on average they spent 11.1 hours a week connected, compared to 13.9 hours for DVD households with computers.

The length of time spent on the Internet increases with the volume of disc and cassette purchases made in the last year. Households that bought at least 10 cassettes in the last year spent 13.3 hours on the Internet per week, while those that purchased two or fewer spent 12 hours online. The split is even more pronounced in DVD households with heavy volume purchasers (measured as households that have at least 20 discs in their collection). This group spends on average 17.3 hours a week online, compared to 10.6 hours for households where the DVD collection contains five discs or less.

Connected VHS-only and DVD households were almost equally likely to have made a purchase on the Web in the last year, at 44 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Thirteen percent of VHS-only households had purchased a cassette over the Internet, while 10 percent of DVD households had done so. Sixteen percent of DVD households said they had bought a disc over the Internet in the last year.

The likelihood of having purchased a DVD over the Internet increased with the size of the household's DVD collection. Twenty-two percent of the households that had 20 or more DVDs in their library had bought a disc over the Web compared to just 7 percent of households with fewer than five discs.

Half of the Internet-enabled DVD households said they had at some time downloaded information from the Web, compared to 39 percent of connected VHS-only households. Two-parent households with kids were least likely to have downloaded information from the Internet (30 percent), while single men were most likely to have pulled information from the Web (70 percent).

Music rated as the top choice for downloading, with 43 percent of connected DVD households and 30 percent of connected VHS households saying they had grabbed tunes. The incidence of downloading music soars for men with no children to 65 percent. Downloading movie clips and trailers also scored high with respondents, with 21 percent of connected DVD households and 13 percent of connected VHS-only households saying they downloaded these items. Single men (35 percent) were most likely to have downloaded movie clips and trailers, while two-parent households with children were least likely to have done so (11 percent).

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