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New Study Finds U.S. Consumers Continue to Amass Valuable Troves of Digital Content

Increased Ownership of Digital Devices - Especially Camera Phones and Digital Audio Players -- Generates More Content That Con

Both the value and volume of digital content continues to rise as U.S. consumers amass more music, photos, movies and games, and as they use a growing array of devices to enjoy their content libraries. A recent study conducted by KRC Research and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) found that consumers of all ages have a voracious appetite for digital content and the average dollar value of these stored collections has now reached $1,660 per person, up 46 percent from just three years ago.

On average, U.S. consumers now store 907 songs, 924 photos, 25 movies and 7 games on their digital audio players, digital cameras, camera phones, digital video recorders (DVRs) and desktop or notebook computers. Compared to what they stored in 2005, this represents a:

  • 134% increase in the number of songs
  • 138% rise in the number of photos
  • 56% jump in the number of movies

This survey provides a snapshot into the digital storage needs, behaviors and attitudes of Americans. It indicates that we have now entered what Hitachi calls the “Tera Era,” where the amount of digital information being created, accessed, shared and stored around the world continues to grow at an unrelenting pace.

The intersection of three dynamic elements -- capacity, content and culture -- has resulted in explosive growth in the amounts and types of information people are now storing. Megabytes are long forgotten. Today, gigabytes are being replaced by terabytes, hence the Tera Era. A Hitachi white paper and more details about the Tera Era can be found at www.hitachigst.com/TeraEra.

The KRC Research and Hitachi study polled 1,008 adults (ages 18-65+) during May of 2008. Comparisons were then made to the findings from the same survey that KRC Research and Hitachi conducted in 2005. Key findings from the 2008 study are summarized below.

What’s it all Worth?

The average U.S. consumer now owns, on average, $1,660 worth1 of digital content, an increase of 46 percent ($525) over the $1,135 average in 2005. Furthermore, nearly 20 percent consider their content priceless. Not at all surprising, given the large volumes of music, photos, movies and games consumers are now storing.

Young adults (aged 18-24) store far more songs than all of the other adult age categories, storing an average of 2,065 songs on their digital devices. Compared to three years ago, young adults today have increased the amount of music they keep by 874 songs.

Do women value their digital content more than men? The survey found that half of the women who own digital devices (46 percent) said their data is either priceless or valuable, as opposed to 35 percent of men.

The survey found that digital photos were the most commonly stored type of content. More than eight in 10 consumers with digital devices (82 percent) reported that they digitally archive their photos, representing a nine percent increase over those surveyed in 2005.

While young adults were the demographic that stored the most songs in the survey, it was adults ages 35 to 44 who stored the most photos -- 1,386 on average. Young adults (18-24), on the other hand, stored an average of 957 photos.

Three consumers in ten reported storing movies, about 32 percent, compared to 25 percent in 2005.

Digital Devices on the Rise

Almost nine in ten Americans (88 percent) now own some kind of electronic device that provides digital storage. In particular, camera phones and digital audio players showed the biggest increase since the 2005 study. Six in ten Americans now have a cell phone with a camera, more than doubling the level from 2005. Digital camera ownership increased as well, jumping to 46 percent of Americans, from 31 percent in 2005.

Digital audio players saw a particularly high increase. In the past three years, ownership of digital music players has almost doubled, climbing from 19 percent in 2005 to 43 percent today.

Among other digital devices surveyed, it was discovered that 46 percent of Americans own a notebook computer, up from 31 percent in 2005, which represents a 14 percent jump. Half of all Americans now own a DVR, an increase of 13 percent from those surveyed in 2005. Portable movie player adoption jumped 10 percent from 2005, with 37 percent of all consumers owning one today.

“The increased adoption of digital devices today is fueling the storage requirements of tomorrow,” said Raj Das, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “Consumers are expected to continue generating data at an incredibly fast pace, as content is created, shared among colleagues, friends and family and then archived in multiple locations. The end result is that storage volumes will be driven to unprecedented levels.”

Never Enough Storage Space

Asked about storage requirements, the study found continued demand for more digital storage space. In fact, one in four consumers (26 percent) now wish they had “so much storage that it was never an issue.”

Methodology

KRC Research conducted a national random telephone survey of 1,008 U.S. adults between May 8 to May 11, 2008 on behalf of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. The estimated margin of error for the study is ±3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The results of the survey are weighted to match the general population, although the sample sizes KRC provided are unweighted.

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies develops advanced hard disk drives to store and preserve the world’s valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST enables users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing high-value, high-capacity storage in formats suitable for the office, in the home or on the road. With vertically integrated research, design and manufacturing capabilities, Hitachi GST delivers leadership technology and quality to its global customer base.

With approximately 33,000 employees worldwide, Hitachi GST offers a comprehensive range of hard drive products for desktop computers, high-performance storage systems and servers, notebooks and consumer devices. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.hitachigst.com.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT) (TOKYO:6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 390,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2007 (ended March 31, 2008) consolidated revenues totaled 11,226 billion yen ($112.2 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, logistics, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

One GB is equal to one billion bytes. Accessible capacity may be less.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has the right to use, market and advertise the brands. The Travelstar trademark is authorized for use in the Americas, EMEA, and the following Asia-Pacific countries and jurisdictions: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies shall not be liable to third parties for unauthorized use of its trademarks.

1 Based on average price of digital songs, printed photos, movie DVDs and PC video games from popular retailers.

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