Good news for Hulu, bad news for Netflix (NFLX): When it comes to media, in a recession, people gravitate towards … free stuff. So say BusinessWeek and ad firm Zenith Media, who are trying to get a handle on media
The big takeaway: Media consumption will remain flat, but consumption of free stuff, or stuff you pay a flat fee for (TV, Internet) are likely to go up, while a la carte items (movies, DVD, magazines, HD/satellite radio) will go down. One exception: The survey predicts that video game use will also increase.
Keep in mind that the survey is talking about consumer usage — not revenue. Which means ad-supported media will still have plenty of issues if/when marketing dollars scale back.
Zenith/Business Week expect overall Internet use to rise, and “audio and video usage online may grow as consumers look for new forms of free entertainment.”
Here’s the results of the survey, which asked 2,321 working adults what they’d use less of if they’re affected by a recession this year:
Movie tickets: 52%
Pay-per-view TV: 47%
Newspaper/Magazine subs: 46%
Premium TV channels: 43%
Cable/satellite TV packages: 40%
Satellite radio: 38%
Mobile audio/video: 37%
HD Radio: 36%
TV and basic cable: 23%
Internet communities: 21%
Internet comparison sites: 17%
Internet search: 14%
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