Broadband Homes Averaging Fewer Gadgets

It may seem like common sense, but market research firm The Diffusion Group decided to see if actual research data jived with popular perception. In its new report, “Consumer Electronics Ownership Among U.S. Broadband Households 2006,” the research firm finds that as broadband Internet access in the United States becomes an increasingly mainstream thing, the average number of consumer electronics devices per broadband households is actually declining. Why? Because in-home broadband Internet access is increasingly moving out of the realm of early technology adopters and enthusiasts with disposable income to mainstream consumers on tighter budgets—hence, fewer shiny, blinky gizmos in the house.

“As broadband connectivity becomes more mainstream, the average consumer electronic and technology profile of the household itself becomes more characteristic of true mass-market consumers,” said Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and report author. “This is not unexpected, especially given that such consumers now comprise the larger part of total broadband households and thus have a greater statistical impact on what constitutes the ‘average.’ In other words, characteristics unique to early adopters are being watered down by the larger wave of mainstream dispositions.”

TDG’s report compiled data in May and October of 2006 covering 2,000 .S. households, and compared the results to studies dating from 2004. TDG found that close to 50 million U.S. homes will have broadband Internet access by the end of 2006, an increase of 18.2 percent compared to 2005. By 2010, TDG expects the number to be over 70 million.

The report also finds that consumers are increasingly adoption HDTV, but homes with multiple HDTV sets remain limited, with multiple sets moving into households only as they replace traditional TVs rather than from a need to have more than one HDTV-capable set. The report also finds broadband households move PCs into different rooms of the home when they acquire new desktop PC models.


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