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Digital device, services, content spend to reach $3.4trn

January 4, 2017

Consumer spending on digital devices, services, and content will reach $3.4 trillion (€3.26trn) worldwide in 2020, rising 4.7 per cent annually from 2015, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC). The forecast is from a newly launched research programme, Consumer Spending Priorities: Tech and Services, which provides a holistic view of consumer spending across all goods and services.

The share of consumer digital spending on devices will fall from 28 per cent in 2015 to only 22 per cent by 2020, while consumer spending on digital content will rise at a 12.6 per cent annual clip, according to the CSP, a twice-annual pivot table. Digital services, however, will maintain its 61 per cent share of consumer digital spending by growing 4.9 per cent annually.

While total consumer digital spending is going up, the nature of the spend is changing. For example, just as consumers shift spending towards digital content, consumers worldwide are moving digital spending towards online media and away from entertainment devices. Consumer spending on online media will grow 12.6 per cent from 2015 to 2020. Spending on digital communications devices and services will grow at a mere 1.6 per cent annual rate as consumer spending on voice services, both fixed and mobile, declines in absolute terms from 2015 to 2020.

“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 IDC’s Consumer Spending Priorities: Tech and Services programme.

Much of the change in consumer spending categories is driven by regions outside of the United States, where the shift among spending categories continues but is largely complete and the share of spending by solution type is largely stable. In developing countries, however, consumer spending on digital content and services, versus devices, is still gaining, while online media spending also increases in wallet share.


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