A new report from gaming analysis firm EEDAR estimates that 51 percent of North American Xbox 360 and PS3 owners have paid for downloadable games or add-on content in the past 12 months, up significantly from previous years.
That slim majority is up from 40 percent in 2010 and 34 percent in 2009, EEDAR says, and represents 20 million North American consumers who are actively paying to download content on those systems.
These consumers will spend an average of just under $45 each on downloadable content this year, generating a total of $875 million in download revenue. If non-downloaders were brought into the fold, EEDAR estimates they could bring in another $600 million in revenue for 2011 alone.
Among the 49 percent of HD console owners that do not pay for DLC, a significant 47 percent cited privacy concerns as a major reason for refraining. This number does not seem to be heavily driven by this Spring's PSN security breach, however -- EEDAR reports similar numbers mentioned privacy both before and after the incident.
Other common reasons cited by non-DLC-buyers included the lack of an online return policy (38%), high prices (32%) and satisfaction with free DLC (24%). Only 11 percent of respondents said downloadable options were not of high enough quality.
EEDAR's report [PDF
] is based on surveys with 3,500 people conducted in late April to early May.