Digital content drives portable player market

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The market for portable audio-video players is expected to grow 700 percent this year, driven primarily by people who already have a lot of music and video files stored in their own PCs, a US market research firm has said.

By the end of the year, the market for devices known as personal media players or personal video players is expected to reach US$22.5 million, In-Stat/MDR said.

Year to year, the market is expected to post a 160 percent compound annual growth rate through 2008.

Most users today are early adopters willing to buy the expensive devices to take their own PC-stored digital content with them, Cindy Wolf McCurley, In-Stat analyst and author of a recent US report on the market, said. Most users are commuters, travelers or people who want to entertain their children on the road.

How quickly the devices reach a broad consumer market will depend on the amount of downloadable video content made available through media, entertainment and other companies, McCurley said. Prices for the devices are expected to remain in the US$400 to US$600 range through 2008.

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