Entertainment spending remains strong

Survey shows few consumers cutting back

A study called "Entertainment Trends in America" conducted by market research company the NPD Group predicts that most consumers plan to hold steady or increase their entertainment spending in 2009. According to the NPD report, 75% of consumers surveyed said they will spend the same amount or more on digital music downloads as they did in 2008; 65% said they'd continue spending on video games; and 73% will continue to line up at the movie box office.

Based on comparison with last year's statistics, the theatrical movie category appeared to be in the best position for growth. The 73% figure was up from last year, when only 66% of survey respondents said they would spend the same or more.

"Even in the face of a down economy, entertainment remains a popular spending category," Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, said. "Most consumers say they'll continue to purchase at least the same amount of many entertainment categories in the coming year."

NPD reported 51% of consumers surveyed purchased a DVD or Blu-ray disc in the prior three months. Purchasing a console or portable video game ranked second at 36%, followed by purchasing a CD at 31%.

According to the study, current per capita spending on entertainment in the U.S. is $160 per month, with the bulk of that spending going to dedicated subscriptions mostly related to TV and Internet access. Despite predictions that consumers would trim entertainment subscriptions, the only notable decline in spending NPD observed was for magazines and newspapers.

The study was based on more than 10,000 completed responses from U.S. consumers, with the data weighted to represent U.S. population age 13 and older.