Study: Price a key factor in uptake of digital products

Australia's adoption of emerging digital technologies and services is not directly related to a consumer's age and income, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by IT management and services company Accenture, found attitudes towards emerging digital technologies and services as well as consumer interests are critical factors when defining new markets for digital products and stimulating digital demand.

Based on the responses of 800 rural and regional consumers nationally, the Next Stop Digital study was aimed at gauging awareness of and attitudes towards new digital technologies as well as the consumer's likelihood of adopting new digital devices, content and interactive services. Some of the technologies discussed in the survey included digital and Pay TV, the Internet, online services, music, DVDs, phones and mobile devices.

Accenture says the major challenge for new digital media and technology providers identified by the survey is price points. For example, a third of respondents said they have not considered purchasing a set-top box because they are too expensive. Forty per cent also said cost would be a main consideration when deciding to subscribe to digital services, such as iTV.

Other challenges facing advertisers and digital content and service providers include the lack of compelling content and services across all new digital media, as well as the perceived complexity of the digital technology.

Survey respondents were divided into five main categories, ranging from digital enthusiasts, to those who have no interest in adopting new technologies. Over 76 per cent of Australians were found to be between these two categories, with 38 per cent falling into the "digital absorbers" group- keen to adopt new technologies but cautious about the cost and practical use of digital products.

The survey also identified five areas of interests: sports enthusiasts, punters, gamers, Net readers and wireless socialisers; and compared the uptake of various digital technologies and media within each interest group.

Out of the results, Accenture found two million music downloaders spend more time online than watching free to air television, posing a potential threat to the free-to-air networks.

Another highlight of the study suggests 2.5 million young people could migrate to interactive TV if set-top boxed had gaming capabilities.

Australia's love of sport across all markets and demographics also proved a selling point and driver of the digital marketplace.

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Nadia Cameron

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