As Netflix rolls out, American attitudes are changing about owning digital assets, not just streaming them.

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The day Netflix said it would run ad service with Microsoftit might seem like the world of streaming can actually compete in terms of popularity as consumers begin to realize they can own digital assets, not just rent or stream them.

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Based on a new survey of 2,000 Americans (which is statistically significant), the new study found that 77% of Americans would rather own digital content and assets than just rent or stream. Indeed, about 28% now spend over $49 per month on digital assets they actually own, such as digital art, music, and in-game items.

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Does this mark a transition from the age of streaming, exemplified by Spotify and Netflix, to the age of ownership? It’s obviously too early to tell this definitively, and let’s face it, the movie is quite different from the Fortnite in-game skin. But there is a smell of attitude change in this review.

Suffice it to say that the survey commissioned by the blockchain-based metaverse platform Virtua and academic assessment revealed a strong attachment to digital asset ownership. The majority of those surveyed who bought digital goods (65%) rated them at the same level of “like or more” than physical goods. And three-quarters (78%) felt “emotionally attached” to them.

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The majority of those who purchased digital items (61%) also chose to receive a digital item (NFT or in-game “skins”) as a gift rather than a physical one. According to the survey, this is partly due to the fact that digital assets were perceived as more environmentally friendly (38% believe so), although the question of whether they knew about the energy costs, for example, to create an NFT, was not specified.

Commenting on the announcement, Javad Ashraf, CEO of Virtua, said: “The property we will own and take into the metaverse is evolving. With the advent of Web 3.0, the meteoric rise of digital collectibles, and the dawn of the Metaverse, we will value our digital items more than ever before.”

In addition, 70% said they are “better connected” through digital items than through physical items, and 89% said it would be distressing to lose those assets.

Americans also like to own digital things because they “remind them of important moments in their lives (87%)” and “help create an idea of ​​who they want to be” (73%).

Commenting on this, Dr Janice Denegri-Knott, professor of consumer culture and behavior at Bournemouth University, said the survey showed that more people are addicted to their digital goods than previously thought.

“Virtua’s first Digital Ownership Report is based on the largest intergenerational survey of its kind… Digital ownership is considered by some to be less beneficial or desirable than physical ownership, but the results of this study suggest otherwise,” she said.

“There is a growing acceptance of digital ownership, with the lines between ownership of digital and physical goods becoming blurred, especially for younger cohorts,” she added.

The study also showed that different generations have different attitudes towards digital assets and other digital objects. Nine out of ten (90%) millennials (ages 24-42) are emotionally attached to digital goods, and three-quarters (74%) consider them a good investment.

They also say that their digital identity is “important” (80%) or “very important” (47%).

Meanwhile, the younger Gen-Z group (ages 16 to 23) is the most active, with 30% selling digital goods and 20% trading them. More than half (52%) of all Gen Z Americans said they buy, sell, or trade digital goods.

The study was conducted by Censuswide, which surveyed 2,000 respondents aged 16 and over in the United States based on the principles of the ESOMAR survey.

Virtua is the new name for the rebrand of Terra Virtua, a blockchain-based virtual reality entertainment platform that has raised $2.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase, and plans to launch its own digital asset-based Metaverse.

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