Consumers Looking For Sony Media Server

Over 70% of broadband households likely to purchase a media server show a strong preference for traditional consumer electronics (CE) brands over their PC counterparts, according to Parks Associates’ Broadband Networked Households project. Moreover, over one-half (51%) picked Sony as their brand of choice for such a device, which would store and distribute content to networked devices within the home.

“With unit sales flattening, PC OEMs hope digital consumer electronics will be their next big opportunity,” said Michael Greeson, vice president of research and strategy for Parks Associates. “Yet it is far from certain that a PC leader such as HP or Dell can cross over to consumer electronics and compete with the likes of Sony. The CE players have been selling dependable and inexpensive devices for decades, and consumers will gravitate toward category-specific brands due to positive prior experiences. This ingrained brand preference will be hard to break.”

At the recent 2004 International CES, both PC and CE manufacturers were offering some version of a home media server. However, among broadband households, a consumer segment likely among the first to adopt such a device, the vast majority held brand preferences for a traditional CE brand, such as Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, or Panasonic, over a more PC-associated brand, such as HP, Gateway, or Microsoft.

Parks Associates’ most recent consumer research initiative, Broadband Networked Households , features data collected from a survey conducted in Q4 2003 of more than 3,300 broadband households.