Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Kids Are All Right — If “All Right” Means Spending Money on iTunes

Kids these days! With their disposable income and increasing propensity to spend it on digital stuff!

What good news for the media business!

And for Amazon and Apple, and anyone else who’s trying to make money selling digital media: NPD Group says that 21 cents out of every dollar kids spend on entertainment goes to “digital format content.” That’s up from 2009, when 85 cents went to physical goods and 15 cents went to digital stuff.

Note that when NPD says “kids,” NPD really does mean kids. It’s talking about children ages two to 14, and it says 50 percent of kids have bought some digital media by the age of seven.

How does a seven-year-old pay for digital content or respond to an NPD survey about digital purchasing behavior? In the latter case, it’s through a grown-up — NPD surveyed more than 3,400 parents and asked them to answer on behalf of their kids.

I’m guessing the parents are doing the overwhelming majority of the buying, too, though the rise of gift cards makes it more and more feasible for kids without credit cards to purchase stuff on their own.

And when one of these very youngsters does buy something online, it’s most likely a song: “One-third of kids report songs being the first type of digital content they purchased, followed by computer games and mobile games.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work