Consumers Crack Open Wallets for Digital

2010 will be a milestone year for digital and entertainment product spending; Apple’s iPad is just the tip of the iceberg, according to our quarterly Digital Life Canada study.

Some of our findings this quarter:tv1

  • 57% of Canadian households (7.5 million) will upgrade a major household entertainment product this year – flat-screen HD sets, Windows PCs and Blu-Ray DVD players top the list of upgrades, while HD digital set-top boxes and PVRs are much lower down the list.
  • On the ‘personal’ digital product front, wireless devices – especially smartphones – lead the way for new purchases or upgrades, followed by laptops and game consoles. Average Canadian consumer will buy or upgrade 2 devices on average while younger Canadians will upgrade or buy 3.
  • Most consumers have heard of the iPad and many are interested but seven-in-ten of those interested would wait for the fall or Xmas season to purchase. Interestingly, many would consisder buying a competing product from Dell, Sony or HP should those companies release slates with similar features at slightly lower price points.
  • Consumers’ desire for more digital entertainment hardware is still not translating into paying for more content. A special analysis of iTunes (the only full-featured digital content marketplace available in Canada) suggests that almost 70% browse but not buy – and vast majority of the paid content is relatively low-priced items (individual songs and apps).

Among other notable findings:

  • Gaming is mainstreaming further; 46% have played using a console, up 4-points in the past 2 years…
  • In households with both PVRs and Video on Demand, PVRs are used much more frequently and preferred 3-to-1 over Video on Demand…
  • PCs are increasingly connecting to TVs – among 18-34s, 26% connected their laptops to a large screen TV in the last month…

Technical: These findings come from SRG’s independent Digital Life Canada syndicated study. Digital Life Canada is based on quarterly interviews with 1,000 online Canadians aged 12 and older since 2006. The most recent research was conducted in early Spring 2010. For more information, you can contact us at