Magazine article The Futurist

Using Our Leisure Time

Magazine article The Futurist

Using Our Leisure Time

Article excerpt

"Spare time," "time off," leisure time": No matter what you call it, the value of these hours has become increasingly dear for most American adults. In fact, according to a recent Roper poll, leisure has replaced work as the most important thing in most Americans' lives. And being entertained is an important part of their leisure time.

Paradoxically, however, there appears to many Americans to be a growing scarcity of this valuable commodity, leisure time. This perception of having less time available - particularly for leisure pursuits - is likely to stay with us.

How, then, will leisure-time choices be made as we head into the twenty-first century?

If current trends are any indication, home-based activities will likely characterize, to an increasing extent, Americans' entertainment preferences in the future. Already, half of all Americans find their at-home entertainment options - particularly videotaped films and cable television - more appealing than the traditional "night out at the movies."

Out-of-home entertainment grew only modestly in the 1980s - if at all. Film box office revenues increased by 3%; attendance at professional sporting events grew by 5%; and revenues for Broadway theaters was actually down by nearly 4%. By contrast, in-home entertainment spending exploded during the same period. The annual growth rates ranged from 10% for cable television subscriptions to over 50% for video sales and rentals.

These same patterns - slow or no growth for out-of-home entertainment, strong growth for in-home entertainment - are expected to continue as we approach the year 2000, albeit with the growth rates moderating somewhat. …

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