Days numbered for video stores

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Days numbered for video stores

Inexorable rise of online content.

Online video will become the dominant format for movies within three years, according to research by the British Internet Broadcasting Company (BiBC). 

According to the study, 85 percent of respondents are prepared to buy movies or other visual media downloaded from the internet.

Consumers are also happy to watch downloaded content on a computer; 81 percent favoured viewing downloaded material on a PC, compared to 83 percent who would prefer to watch it on a TV.

Mobile content, however, is less popular. Only 21 percent expressed an interest in downloading movies and other visual media to a mobile phone.

In terms of pricing, 41 percent of respondents would be willing to pay between £2 ($5) and £5 ($12.5) to download a movie that could be kept permanently, but 24 percent would prefer to pay nothing.

A quarter of respondents expressed a preference for buy-to-own movies, but 36 per cent would rather pay a monthly fee for unlimited viewing.

In the 18-24 age group a third favoured owning movies while a half would rather rent on a monthly basis. Over a quarter would only be willing to pay less than £10 ($25) a month for a service, while 40 percent would be happy to pay more.

Two-thirds of people said that the concept of digital TV integrated with broadband would appeal to them. The 35-44 age category was particularly interested in this concept, appealing to 71 percent.

One in three people downloaded from licensed sites such as iTunes, while 26 percent took advantage of free download sites. High-street retailers only accounted for 16 percent of music downloads. 

On-demand content was the biggest benefit of downloading, chosen by 34 percent. Poor quality content was a major reason for not downloading content with 39 percent of people.

A third of respondents were held back by the limited platforms for viewing content, and roughly the same proportion felt that downloading videos is no cheaper than buying the hard copy.

Some 33 percent indicated that there is not enough content available, and 31 percent had concerns about deleting or losing downloaded content.

"These statistics offer further proof that video downloads are seeping through into popular culture," said Paul Hague, managing director of BiBC.

"People now understand the multiple uses of the internet and feel more able to exploit the possibilities. For years people have talked about the death of the high street, and video downloads are set to offer a new challenge.

"This is particularly pertinent to the DVD market, which cannot compete with downloads, as they cannot possibly offer the same cheap, environmentally friendly, high-quality and secure offering that video downloads can provide."
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