NPD: Outlook For PSP Movies On UMD 'Bleak'

According to a new report published by The NPD Group, the PlayStation Portable's (PSP) multi-functionality has played a key role in the sales and existing user satisfacti...
According to a new report published by The NPD Group, the PlayStation Portable's (PSP) multi-functionality has played a key role in the sales and existing user satisfaction of the device. This report is based on an online survey sent to approximately 55,000 members of NPD's consumer panel, ages 6 to 44. The report, PSP Functionality and Content Study, examines consumer ownership, usage and attitudes toward Sony PSP functions and content such as games, movies, TV and music, specifically addressing how the multi-functionality has been instrumental to the success of the PSP. According to the report, while games and downloaded music files are the most popular types of content used by the average PSP user, nearly two-thirds own movie or TV content on Universal Media Discs (UMD), with more than two-fifths saying the ability to watch movies or television content on their PSPs were very important factors in their decision to purchase the device. However, the report explores the purchase intent and purchase motivators for UMDs in great detail, finding that while one-third of PSP users who don't own UMDs said they are likely to purchase a UMD in the near future, they don't necessarily care about the format in which the content is provided. As retailers and movie studios alike continue to scale back on the number of UMD movies and TV shows they carry or release, the outlook for the UMD format is bleak, according to NPD. Movies and music appear to be entrenched in terms of penetration, average number owned and importance to the PSP user, making the right content key to capturing and retaining these consumers. For example, television shows and classic movies seem to have more potential than what current ownership reveals, as purchase intent for each is about triple that of ownership penetration. "Success of the UMD format depends on several key factors," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "PSP users state the main barrier to purchasing UMDs is price, followed by the available movie/TV selection. If the right content was priced more competitively with DVDs, UMD sales may see a lift. Additionally, UMD sales may benefit if manufacturers and retailers focus on raising awareness and providing easier access."

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