US Consumers Amass Higher Volume & Value of Digital Content

August 5, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Asia-Pacific | Europe & Middle East | Media & Entertainment | Technology

US consumers store an average of 907 songs, 924 photos, 25 movies and seven games on their ever-growing array of digital devices, according to (PDF) a recent study by KRC Research and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST).

The number of stored songs has increased 134% since 2005; the number of photos is up 138%; and the number of movies, up 56%.

Overall, US consumers store less content than those in China, but more than those in the UK. The typical British consumer now stores 502 songs, 466 photos, 14 films and eight games. In China, the average is 1,311 songs, 3,083 photos, 24 movies and 22 games.


The average value of a US consumer’s digital content is now $1,660, up 46% ($525) over the $1,135 in 2005. Chinese consumers each own stored content worth about 4,772 yuan ($691), while consumers in Great Britain have approximately 600 sterling pounds’ ($1,185) worth of stored collections.

Nearly 20% of US consumers – more than counterparts in Great Britain and China – consider their content priceless, according to the survey.


These findings indicate a dramatic increase in both the value and volume of digital content since 2005, and are driven by market changes in capacity, content and information culture, according to the study.

Findings also revealed continuing demand for more digital storage space. One in four consumers (26%) now wishes they had “so much storage that it was never an issue.” According to Hitachi GST, we have now entered the “Tera Era,” where terabytes are replacing megabytes and gigabytes as common measurements of content storage.

Additional findings about digital content:

  • Young US adults (age 18-24) store far more songs than all other adult age categories – an average of 2,065 songs – on their digital devices. Members of this group have increased their amount of music by 874 songs since 2005.


  • Half of US women who own digital devices (46%) said their data is either priceless or valuable, as opposed to 35% of men.
  • Digital photos were the most commonly stored type of content. More than eight in 10 US consumers with digital devices (82%) reported digitally archiving their photos, a 9% increase over those surveyed in 2005.
  • US adults age 35- 44 stored the most photos – 1,386 on average. Young adults (age 18-24) stored an average of 957 photos.

Additional findings about digital devices:

  • Nearly nine in 10 Americans (88%) now own an electronic device that provides digital storage. Camera phones and digital audio players showed the biggest increase since 2005.
  • Six in 10 Americans now have a cell phone with a camera, double the level from 2005.
  • Digital-camera ownership jumped to 46% of Americans, from 31% in 2005.
  • In the past three years, ownership of digital-music players has almost doubled in the US, climbing from 19% in 2005 to 43% today.
  • 46% of Americans own a notebook computer, up from 31% in 2005.
  • Half of all Americans now own a DVR, an increase of 13% from 2005.
  • Portable movie player adoption jumped 10% from 2005 in the US, with 37% of all consumers now owning one.

“The increased adoption of digital devices today is fueling the storage requirements of tomorrow,” said Raj Das, SVP of worldwide marketing, Hitachi GST. ” Consumers are expected to continue generating data at an incredibly fast pace, as content is created, shared among colleagues, friends and family and then archived in multiple locations. The end result is that storage volumes will be driven to unprecedented levels.”

About the survey: KRC Research and Hitachi GST evaluated consumer behavior in Great Britain, China and the US in May 2008. In the US, the research included a telephone survey of 1,008 US adults. The results of the survey are weighted to match the general population, although the sample sizes that KRC provided are unweighted. Comparisons were then made to the findings from the same survey that KRC Research and Hitachi conducted in 2005.

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