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Direct-Mail DVD Subscribers Top 12% of US Internet Households, Offer Insight into Emerging "Digitally Inclined" Consumers

The Diffusion Group finds that the 4+ million direct-mail DVD households constitute a fertile target market for digital media device & service vendors.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) April 5, 2005 -- Direct-mail DVD subscription services such as Netflix are now used by more 4.3 million US Internet households, about 12% of the 36 million US Internet households. According to a new report from research and strategic marketing firm The Diffusion Group, these households constitute a fertile target market for vendors pushing new digital devices and services.

TDG's latest report, "Direct-Mail DVD Subscribers: Profiling the 'Blockbuster Busters,'" finds households that subscribe to DM-DVD services demonstrate a much higher ownership or proclivity to purchase both fixed and portable consumer electronic devices, as well as the services that enable these devices. Most notably, their interest in portable digital electronics such as portable media centers and digital music players is well above average.

"Current DM-DVD households are not only frequent movie watchers; they are generally more 'digitally inclined' than the average Internet user," says Dale E. Gilliam III, contributing analyst with TDG and co-author of the new study. "As such, understanding these households can help 'digital lifestyle' companies better target those consumers more likely to purchase their products and services."

Other interesting characteristics of current DM-DVD households include the following:
• Current DM-DVD subscribers are approximately 25% more likely than non-subscribing Internet households to store digital video or music on their home PCs;
• They are significantly more likely than non-subscribing Internet households to own a portable digital music player such as an MP3 player or iPod; however, they are not more likely to own, nor more interested in owning, a portable DVD player.
• They are 47% more likely than non-subscribing Internet households to purchase a Portable Media Center or Player if the price is below $400; and
• They are 52% more likely than non-subscribing Internet households to already own a portable digital music or MP3 player, and 38% more likely to purchase such a device in the next year.

TDG’s new report, entitled "Direct-Mail DVD Subscribers: Profiling the 'Blockbuster Busters'" offers a detailed profile of DM-DVD households, including technology ownership and usage, proclivity to purchase new digital devices, entertainment service subscriptions, as well as demographic characteristics. The report is part of TDG’s ongoing Consumer Snapshot series that profiles specific segments of the emerging digital home and connected consumer marketplace.

About The Diffusion Group (TDG Research)
The Diffusion Group is a consumer technology research and strategic marketing firm built by a team of seasoned consumer technology analysts. Our mission is simple: to provide timely, actionable intelligence designed to best position new consumer technologies for rapid diffusion. TDG is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and market forecasts grounded in consumer research. For more information about The Diffusion Group, visit our website at

Andy Tarczon
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Using a mailing service can save businesses time, money

DEC 27, 2005 - For Madison Area Technical College, the problem was how to mail tens of thousands of alumni newsletters.

The college didn't have the space to prepare a bulk mailing, said Kathy Waters, the lead worker at MATC's mail center. And they didn't have the machinery to make the process easy, meaning they were looking at having to do the job by hand.

But there was a solution, which saved the college $5,000: Use a mailing services company, one that had the machinery and expertise to get the job done fast and efficiently.

"Mailings can be a very effective way of doing business," said Terri Bouffiou, customer relations coordinator for the Madison branches of the U.S. Postal Service. But she added, "as well as a big cost to a company."

Mailing-services companies' assistance may be more important and timely beginning next month, when postal rates rise by about 5 percent.

Everything from the color of ink to the shape of an envelope can add cost to a mailing. Mailing-services companies sort items, which saves money per piece.

The Postal Service created the mailing service industry by offering mailing discounts, said United Mailing Services district manager Mark Colb. Mailing-services companies, by sorting mail, take away much of the Postal Service's workload.

United Mailing has five branches in Wisconsin, including one in Madison, and 500 employees.

"We are the mail business, we know about the postage industry," said J&J's Bauer. When businesses use mailing services companies, "they can focus on the core business that they have."

Mailing-service companies advise clients about the best ways to get mailings noticed. They also provide automated inserting equipment and mailing lists.

"I just met with a law firm that sends mail out at full rate and also uses a carrier service," Bauer said. "I went in and educated them and I figured out I'd save them about $2,000 per year. Once their mailing equipment lease is up, I can save them another $1,200 per year."

"A lot of this is educating the customers about their options," said J&J's operations manager, Jeff Utter.

Design errors are one of the the most common mistakes people make with mailings, said Bruce Virgin, vice president and general manager of First Class Mailers on North Fair Oaks Avenue in Madison. A flower company he worked with made a $3,500 mistake when they printed a direct mail advertisement on the wrong color of paper. The paper was too dark, so the post office couldn't distinguish between the paper and the text, Virgin said.

Capital Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, also provides mailing services through its Target Marketing program.

Nonprofits can also save big. Volunteers often stuff envelopes and put stamps on mass mailings, Virgin said. But these groups can save more money by bringing the job to a mailing service because as a nonprofit organization, they can receive a special bulkmail rate, bringing their cost from 18.5 cents per piece - the best price if they do the mailing on their own - to as cheap as around 9 cents per item.

Mailings also often take longer than expected, Bouffiou said. Before a mailing is sent out, it needs to be designed and printed. The company needs a mailing permit and a mailing list. Mailing-services companies, however, can provide all of that and complete most mailings in less than a week, Bouffiou said.

Capital Mailing Systems on Advance Road in Madison mostly caters to small businesses. The most common and costly mistake businesses make is formatting for bar code, said business manager Daniel Phelps. Incorrect bar codes can cost businesses an extra 5 cents per piece, which, for a large mailing can mean thousands of dollars.

"The domestic mail manual is hundreds of pages long and people in mail services are people who are experts of that book," Phelps said.


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