By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: At GfK’s recent national conference, key representatives from digital entertainment companies answered a survey on the nature of the industry and predict a significant future for bricks and mortar retail and rental of digital entertainment.

Respondents classified themselves into demographic categories with Baby boomers representing 17 per cent of the audience, Generation X was the majority at 51 per cent and Generation Y was 27 per cent of the audience.

When asked ‘For how long do you think there’ll be a significant market for brick-and-mortar retail and/or rental of entertainment content?’, 50 per cent chose the five to 10 year option. Interestingly, 30 per cent of respondents thought that market would still be significant for more than 10 years.

Also, 51 per cent thought there would be a significant retail/rental market for DVDs in five years, as opposed to 32 per cent disagree/strongly disagree and 17 per cent sitting on the fence.

However, when asked, ‘Five years from now, how do you think people are most likely to be acquiring the majority of their entertainment content?’, only 15 per cent said buying and/or renting from brick-and-mortar outlets with 42 per cent saying buying and/or renting over the Internet and 38 per cent said downloading.

Also, 88 per cent of the respondents expected to be downloading TV programs/movies within the next three years.
Interestingly, 74 per cent of respondents (34 per cent Disagree and 40 per cent Strongly Disagree) said they do not use their PC for watching movies and/or TV.

There was also a fairly even split between agree (34 per cent) and disagree (36 per cent) to the question of whether within five years, more than 50 per cent of Australian households will have a networked entertainment infrastructure allowing seamless transfer of digital data between devices.

There was a similar response to whether the biggest obstacle to people building digital home entertainment networks is changing consumer behaviour. Thirteen per cent of respondents strongly agreed with the question, 35 per cent agreed. However, 38 per cent disagreed with the question and eight per cent strongly disagreed.