Compared with the population as a whole, camcorder owners are generally older and have higher incomes. This is particularly true for digital camcorder owners. While only 33 percent of the general population's household income is above $50,000, 40 percent of analog camcorder owners and 53 percent of digital camcorder owners fall into this category. And in terms of age, 21 percent of analog and 16 percent of digital camcorder owners fall into the 18-34 category compared to 30 percent of the general population.
While everyone loves a new toy, the reasons for buying camcorders turn out to be quite personal, if not emotional. Among those owners who purchased the camcorder themselves, the majority wanted to "record events for keepsake" (52 percent) and another 13 percent bought it for "a specific event." Only 8 percent said it was because they "wanted the newest technology" or "just wanted to try it." It is important to note that a sizeable 19 percent of camcorder buyers said they were replacing an older camcorder. This indicates that upgrades play an important role in the revenue stream for camcorder manufacturers.
The activities that camcorder owners record support the notion that the device has personal and emotional value. The vast majority of owners (87 percent) use their camcorder to record family gatherings, 78 percent say they record vacations or sightseeing trips, and 69 percent record significant life events (such as weddings, anniversaries and births). But not all recording is serious business; 60 percent of owners record random events around the home, presumably just for fun. Although people have personal and emotional reasons for purchasing camcorders, and overwhelmingly record special occasions, most do not use their device very often. About two-thirds of camcorder owners make 1 hour or less of recordings per month.