IDC: Consumers Are Shifting Their Digital Spend

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IDC: Consumers Are Shifting Their Digital Spend


Consumer spending on digital devices, services, and content will increase 4.7% annually to reach $3.4 trillion worldwide in 2020, according to International Data Corp.

But while overall digital spending is going up, exactly what consumers spend their money on is evolving as the market matures, according to IDC. Consumer spending on devices will fall from 28% of the total in 2015 to 22% by 2020, as spending on digital content rises 12.6% annually. Meanwhile, spending on digital services will hold steady at 61% of total spending, growing 4.9% annually.

The forecast comes from a newly launched IDC research program, "Consumer Spending Priorities: Tech and Services," which will provide a holistic view of consumer spending across all goods and services twice annually.

Consumer spending on online media will grow 12.6% during the period from 2015 to 2020, while spending on digital communications devices and services will only see a 1.6% annual increase.

"Clearly the value of the devices is derived primarily as conduits for the content and services that they transport and the applications that they enable," said Jonathan Gaw, research manager for the new program.

Much of the change in spending is being driven by activity outside of the U.S., where these spending shifts have already taken place to a great extent. In developing countries, consumer spending on digital content and services versus devices is still gaining, while online media spending is also increasing in wallet share.

The report's release was timed to coincide with the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where IDC will host an analyst briefing. The massive trade show will be held Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

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