Across all US households, video games account for 4.9 per cent of monthly entertainment spending - to 2.8 per cent for CDs and mp3s - according to recent Nielsen research. Among households that are active game buyers, the figure is 9.3 per cent.
It's important to note this is not a whole-dollar measurement - it does not mean Americans spend more on games than music. But it does indicate consumer preference, based on how they perceive the allocations of their money.
Game-buying households - defined as those spending more than $US1 a month on game-related content - comprise 24 per cent of US households. Their habits "paint a picture of valuable, tech-savvy entertainment consumers," Nielsen writes. They're more likely to buy DVD/Blu-ray movies, video-on-demand, go to movies, sports and other live events. Interestingly, these choices "come at the expense of more established media options like basic cable and print media."
If you're wondering what the leading entertainment budget categories were, a general category of "participating in activities such as dining out, shopping, going to a museum" led overall with 24.8 per cent of a family's spending. Regular television packages, such as basic cable, came in second at 17.9 per cent.
Video Games Score 5% of U.S. Household Entertainment Budget [Nielsen. Graphic by Nielsen.]