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October 27, 2006

Number of Sets Growing Within HD Households, Average HD Household Income Rising

Interesting news regarding consumer behavior released this week, as the Leichtman Research Group examined the expansion of high-definition televisions not just across the total number of U.S. homes but rather WITHIN U.S. homes. The group found that getting an initial high-def. television set causes most families to want to buy another set.

The group's annual survey of 1,300 households found that 29 percent of HDTV owners said they are likely to purchase a second set in the next year and that 26 percent already have more than one HD set in their homes, both percentages up significantly from the survey the year before, when 11 percent owning two sets last year and 18 percent wanting to purchase another within the next year. In the percentages are any indication, it looks like the majority of the 18 percent of the country that wanted to buy a second set managed to in the past year (I know that isn't a statistically viable addition of percentages there, but I'm not a math major, so cut me some slack).

According to the survey, one of every six households in America now have an HD set, compared to one in every 14 households two years ago. And James Hibberd with TelevisionWeek points out that the average income of HD set owners has increased even as HDTV set costs have lowered. He included a quote from Leichtman which said that this particular finding is "counter to adoption trends that we usually think of. What I think we're seeing is a second wave of adoption. The first wave is about affordability and interest; the second becomes just about affordability." The average household income for HDTV owners is $89,500, 42 percent above the national average.

Chief Gizmateer with RealTechNews writes, "While nothing seems surprising or out of the ordinary in LRG's assessment of the HDTV space, one thing that surprised me is that only a third of those surveyed knew about Fev 17, 2009, the federal deadline for TV stations to broadcast only digital signals. While HDTV's long-term sales are upbeating (about 20% of all households get a new TV set each year), that may not be fast enough to beat the federal deadline in 2009."

This continued growth in HD, especially among high-income households, have led to continued tensions among advertisers, content providers, and networks about how quickly to adapt programming for HD viewers.

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