and Edison Media Research shows that an estimated 27 million Americans
have taken control of their media and entertainment. This is the
portion of the population who own one or more on-demand media devices,
such as TiVo, iPod and similar units. Among the interesting results:10% watched video-on-demand via cable or satellite in the past month.
11% accessed their news on the Internet. 37 million listen to Internet
radio. 27% of 12-to-17 year olds own an iPod or other portable MP3
player. 43 million Americans timeshift TV programming. 76% own at least
one DVD disc and 39% own 20 or more. Public awareness of the two
satellite radio services has increased to over 50%. Only slightly less
time was spent by this group listening to traditional radio compared to
the national average. Broadband connections are now in as many
households as are dial-up connections. The number of Americans who made
a purchase from the Web in the past week has more than tripled. The
monthly Internet video audience is estimated to be 35 million and the
weekly online video audience is nearly 20 million.
Kenwood and TDK Cutbacks
– Japanese audio brand Kenwood is closing their U.S. home electronics
business. Their value-added AV gear has been struggling against the $49
Costco DVD players. Another top Japanese company, TDK Corporation,
closed its two U.S. plants last year and is concentrating production in
Germany and Thailand. Demand for analog tape has fallen off and prices
for blank CD-Rs fell 60% last year, with some now available for under
25 cents. Demand for video cassettes has also dropped.
Oregon Ruling Silences Music Festivals
– The state of Oregon ruled earlier this year that classical musicians
aren’t independent contractors but employees. That’s OK for the Oregon
Symphony, but a blow for the many nonprofit groups putting on annual
music festivals. At least three have had audits which resulted in their
being subject to unemployment insurance payments retroactive to 2000,
Social Security taxes and worker compensation taxes. The historic
Ernest Bloch Music Festival in Newport, scheduled for June, was just
barely making it by each year and has been forced to cancel for this
year as a result.