Monday, 27 July 2009

Beer Syndrome still alive and kicking

(By Richard Holway 8.00pm Monday 27th July 09) In my post of 19th July 09 – Collapse of the Beer Syndrome? – I think I was far too hasty. It is certainly true that console sales – in particular the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation – have collapsed. But I now think that is because of a shift from consoles to handhelds – in particular to people playing games on their iPhones and iPod Touch devices. Add the two Apple devices together and you have around 40m handheld gaming devices! Over 1.5b apps have been downloaded from the Apple apps store. I know people are increasingly multitasking, but we do only have two thumbs! So playing a Wii and a iPod Touch at the same time is a physical impossibility!

The Beer Syndrome is based on the premise that “Staying in is the new Going out”. It has served me well for 18 months – and I actually have no reason to question its continued validity. Today Pace announced that it had tripled the number of set top boxes shifted in H1 2009. HD was the star. Indeed, it was also announced that sales of BluRay devices surged 231%. Separately Sky says that the number of UK HD subscribers now tops 1m and their subscriber levels continue to rise (now > 9m) despite the availability of FreeView.

So the Beer Syndrome is alive and kicking. But just like every other sector we analyse, we are changing our habits even in our own homes. Less playing with the console. More playing games on the iPod Touch. Fewer DVDs (down 10% in H1). More HD

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