Post-Napster Kids Overwhelmingly Buy Physical Goods

But wait: wouldn’t kids be the most progressive media consumers, the ones most comfortable with digital intangibility and conditional ownership?

Guess not: according to a study shared by NPD Group, kids between the ages of 2 and 14 in the US still overwhelmingly purchase physical goods.

That is, 79 percent of their entertainment purchases by value – across all media types – are of the tangible variety.  “For every dollar kids (ages 2-14) spend on entertainment content, $0.79 goes to physical format content and $0.21 goes towards digital format content,” the report authors shared with Digital Music News.

Oddly, the stat seems to fit.  In a presentation earlier this year, NPD Group analyst Russ Crupnick reported that 55 percent of music buyers – across all ages – are still solely purchasing CDs, though the broader number of buyers is shrinking.

Keep in mind that physical assets typically fetch a higher markup, therefore its value-share is naturally stronger.  And, a lot of this is being paid for by parents (and, parents filled out these consumer surveys).  That said, the overbearing weight of physical seems incongruous with what this generation should be doing: after all, these are post-Napster kids, with very little attachment to things like record stores, vinyl, or album ownership.

And, NPD found that most of the acquisition is happening on the music side.  In terms of collections – across both physical and digital formats – music accounts for 72 percent of all media, followed by movies, games, TV shows, books, and apps.

Perhaps things are all changing so slow, though physical is an ice-block that continues to thaw.  Just two years ago, $0.85 of every dollar was going to physical.  “While the majority of kids’ entertainment content is still acquired in a physical format, digitally-acquired content has grown substantially over the last two years at 14 percentage points for music,” the research group noted.