Only 6% of consumers buy console DLC - NPD

Industry-research group finds small minority download premium content via Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii over three-month period; 15 percent got content online via PC or Mac.


Alan Wake
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2

Downloadable content is all the rage in gaming at the moment, with such high-profile titles as Mass Effect 2, Alan Wake, and Red Dead Redemption getting premium add-ons. However, according to a recent survey by the NPD Group, only a small minority are getting DLC via connected consoles.

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According to a survey by the industry research group spanning three months, 75 percent of consumers 13 and older did not download digital content on any platform at all. Some 15 percent downloaded content via a PC or Mac, 4 percent through a smartphone, and 2 percent connected via a Blu-ray Disc player or a digital video player, such as Apple TV or Roku. (The sample size of the study was not provided.)

The remaining 6 percent downloaded content via a connected "game player," a category that covers the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Russ Crupnick, NPD's vice president and senior entertainment analyst, put a positive spin on the relatively low number.

"The promise of the connected experience is coming, as prospective Blu-ray owners want their players to come with connectivity, and half of game consoles are already connected," he said in a statement. "The doors are also opening wider for music, video, gaming and other forms of entertainment."

Anita Frazier, NPD's top analyst for toys and video games, elaborated on the gaming aspect of the study. She said that, thanks to online connectivity, the demographic of what is considered a "gamer" is broadening.

"Today's gamer might be a hardcore teenager playing games online with his friends, a 40-something female playing Farmville on Facebook, or everything on either side of that spectrum," Frazier said. "We would not have seen this type of audience diversification and expansion if it weren't for connected Internet, smartphone, and online gaming options."

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