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TECHNOLOGY FEATURE

US gays lead in use of cell phone and cable TV


June 09, 2004

Nokia cell phone
ROCHESTER, N.Y.— According to a recent nationwide US online survey, eight in 10 (79%) gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) adults have cellular phone service compared to a slightly lower percentage (72%) of heterosexual adults.

In addition, more than two-thirds (69%) of gay adults report subscribing to cable television services compared with less than two-thirds (61%) of their non-gay counterparts. The data also reveal that gay consumers are twice as likely to have a television with high definition resolution (HDTV) in their homes than heterosexual consumers (16% vs. 8%), as well as are more likely than non-gays to obtain a high definition TV within the next six to 12 months (44% vs. 31%).

These newest findings corroborate the enthusiasm and affinity that gay and lesbian consumers have for electronic technology and their propensity to seek out the latest trends in consumer electronics and television. The highlights are from a recent quarterly telecommunications study conducted online between September 8 and 14, 2004 by Harris Interactive´┐Ż, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the gay consumer market. A total of 828 non-gay and 243 self-identified gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) adults were surveyed.

The survey reveals that gay and lesbian consumers appear to differ somewhat from heterosexual consumers in how they use and choose their wireless service. For example:
  • Gays are more likely to combine business and personal cell phone usage. More than half (56%) of gay consumers say they use their wireless service for both personal and business calls compared to 42 percent of non-gays. By contrast, non-gays are much more likely to use their cell phones exclusively for personal use than gays and lesbians (57% vs. 43% respectively).
  • A higher percentage of gay and lesbian consumers (38%) than heterosexual consumers (22%) report that they are likely to visit websites of wireless service providers when selecting a provider; gays are also more likely to consult consumer publications or reports (11% vs. 7%). Both groups rely most, however, on advice from friends and family in almost equal measure (42% for GLB vs. 41% for heterosexuals).

    "It's no secret that the cellular market is becoming increasingly saturated, and these data can help marketers distinguish between GLB and heterosexual consumers' use and purchase considerations," said Jake Stafford, senior marketing strategist at Witeck-Combs Communications.

    Stafford added, "The research also suggests that as gays continue to embrace emerging technologies such as HDTV, there is room for innovations that would continue to spur the buying preferences of trend-setting gay customers." Harris Interactive


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