Consumers have no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment. But will the popularity of newer forms of communication such as social networking reduce the amount of time 771223_movie_houseconsumers have for traditional entertainment? This is a valid concern according to NPD group which just released a report on this topic.

Echoing the findings of  other studies on new media, NPD confirms that more consumers are spending time online. Here are the percentages of people who say they have used these new forms of communication in the past 6 months:

  • Visiting social networking sites: 37%
  • Sending/receiving text messages: 63%
  • Using Twitter: 9%

NPD also indicates that consumers are not cutting back on all paid entertainment options. Spending in the following categories is expected to rise:

  • Digital music
  • Movies in theaters

Study results also show that while consumers might not be as likely to spend on CDs and DVDs, they will do so when they can get “good value”.  In the meantime, NPD analysts also note that pay TV options such as cable and Netflix should experience a steady market. In addition, the study revealed that only 37% of women will spend more on entertainment this year versus 63% of men.

The bottom line from this study seems to be that social networking, which requires consumer participation but not money, may be taking up more time but consumers still want to preserve screen time which allows them to be entertained without participating. As long as consumers maintain this attitude, marketers of movies, music and TV shows will find a ready audience for their content.

[Source: Entertainment trends in America, NPD release, 11.4.09]