Consumers want control over all their digital content. And, if the prevailing theme during an Industry Trends session here at CES is any indicator, this is the year they’re going to gain control and more of it.
“Consumers are frankly expecting and demanding more, just look at the rapid growth of megapixels in digital cameras,” said CEA analyst Steve Koenig, who presented the macrotrends along with CEA economist Shawn DuBravac. “That’s consumer demand. They want greater storage capacity for their digital content too.”
New services are redefining the consumer experience and satisfying that need for more control and instant satisfaction, said DuBravac, referring to the proliferation of new companies that are allowing people the freedom to post videos, blogs, podcasts, and photos on personal websites or Web 2.0-style platforms, such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter, all from mobile devices and all for free.
The analysts said broadband is now in at least 51% of American homes, so people are getting used to catching quick news videos on their laptops or moving movies, home videos or photos from one device to another over home networks.
“People are expecting to connect all their products to the Internet in the future, even white goods,” Koenig said.
With smartphone demand on a growth rate expected to hit 30 percent this year, Koenig predicted people will soon get comfortable accessing entertainment or user-generated content on the road, untethering themselves from the PC and home theater. Mobile devices of all sorts are not just for music anymore, the analysts said.
In terms of the retail trends, they said the success of experienced-based models like the Apple and Sony Style stores suggests consumers want hands-on demonstrations of new products from salespeople who are living the digital lifestyle. “The demo is very important … underscore that!” Koenig said.
American consumers will also become comfortable with products that “do it all” anytime and anyplace, the analysts said, adding that this is one of the most interesting, fast-moving and consumer-friendly seasons in the history of the CE industry. “Service, content and devices are all coming together to achieve exactly what the consumer wants to do,” Koenig said.