Perceived Surplus Value: How Consumers Judge Online Vs. Offline Media

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5:25 PM EDT February 14th, 2013

The Boston Consulting Group has issued a new study on media satisfaction that reveals some interesting statistics on how much consumers believe they’re receiving in surplus value form online vs. offline content.

What does “surplus value” entail, exactly? According to All Things D, BCD defines the metrics as “the value consumers themselves place on a media-related activity or product over and above what they pay for it” – an interesting way to determine how consumers perceive the media they consume on a daily basis.

According to the BCG study, consumers netted a perceived value of $1,136 for online media compared to just $165 in price paid, leading to a surplus of $967. Conversely, consumers perceived $1,600 of value from offline media but paid $696, leading to a consumer surplus of just $904.

What other statistics did the survey reveal? breaks down the numbers in this edition of Data Point.

Surplus By Category: What Consumers Like Most

Consumers believe they receive the most online surplus value ($311) from user-generated content, such as social networks, which is probably correct given the relative low value of production on the business side. They perceive receiving $159 in online value from TVs and movies, while perceiving to benefit from $132 from radio and music. Video games and U.S. newspapers/magazines finished close behind, with perceived values of $132 and $119, respectively, while books brought up the rear in perceived online value at $83.

Value Per Device

The BCG study also demonstrated an obvious positive correlation between the number of devices used and the perceived value from the consumer side. Consumers who used only a computer saw $667 in value, while that number jumps to 41 percent, or $942, for consumers who use both a computer and a mobile device. Consumers who used computers, mobile devices and tablets saw a further 40 percent jump to $1,322 in perceived value, while consumers who used the aforementioned three devices plus a gaming system saw a 30 percent jump to a whopping $1,721 in extra value they believed to be receiving.

To read more stats from the BCG study, and for a full infographic, click here.

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