Emerging Technologies

Charted: Here's what's driving the digital media revolution

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Increasing numbers of people want to be able to access their music and films on all devices. Image: Pexels/Pixabay

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • Music and video streaming services were treated with suspicion upon arrival but are now the main means of accessing both.
  • Just 1 in 4 US adults still prefers hard copies of films, books or music these days, according to Statista consumer insights.
  • While 54% of respondents to the survey said they want to access their music/movies on all their devices.

When the first music and video streaming services were introduced around 2010, they were greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism. They wouldn’t be reliable enough, the sound/image quality would be inadequate, and after all, who could afford a mobile data plan generous enough to stream music and video content all the time?

Especially music aficionados and die-hard film fans didn’t really know what to make of the new arrivals. Would their carefully curated CD and DVD collections soon become obsolescent, worthless even? Well, a little more than a decade later, the answer is a resounding yes, at least in most cases.

In the end, convenience always wins. And while it’s a nice idea to dust off the old CD collection and reminisce a little, that probably won’t happen and if it would, half the CDs wouldn’t work anymore. And where would you even find a CD player these days?

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How is the World Economic Forum fostering a sustainable and inclusive digital economy?

According to findings from Statista Consumer Insights, just 1 in 4 U.S. adults still prefers hard copies of films, books or music these days. More than twice as many respondents, 54 percent, said that they want to access their music/movies on all their devices, one of the many advantages that streaming services offer.

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This chart shows what Americans think about digital media usage
This chart shows what Americans think about digital media usage. Image: Statista.
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