Sunday, August 27, 2006

Average American Entertainment Budget

The average American spends more on entertainment than on gasoline, household furnishings and clothing and nearly the same amount as spent on dining out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Among the affluent, the 20 percent of households with more than $77,000 a year in pretax income, more money is spent on entertainment - $4,516 a year - than on health care, utilities, clothing or food eaten at home.
That is some serious cash that American's are throwing down for their entertainment. As a percentage of income it is only around 5% though.

What if we look at it on an hourly basis?
The game industry is trying to push prices higher for the hottest games, to as much as $60, but even at that price, on a dollar-to-minutes-of-enjoyment basis, video games may be one of the best values, about 12.5 cents a minute for the easily bored, or fractions of a penny for those who can play "Half Life" their whole life.

Live opera works out to about 37 cents a minute, for a middling seat in the New York Metropolitan Opera house to hear "Aida," compared with 7 cents a minute for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at a Loews Cineplex.

But a Gwen Stefani concert, in again, middling seats, is about $1.25 a minute and that's with a serving of Black Eyed Peas thrown in.

If you accept statistics that the average American's TV is on eight hours a day, a $100-a-month cable bill is really only a bit more than half a cent for each minute of entertainment.
Their values are similar but a little different from the ones I calculated earlier. Of course, with media goods the real cost is your time.

via The New York Times

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