Research from games analyst EEDAR shows that 51 per cent of HD console owners in the US downloaded digital content for their systems in the past 12 months - up from 40 per cent in 2010 and 34 per cent in 2009.
That DLC generated more than $875 million in sales in 2011, with EEDAR estimating that figure to rise to £1 billion in 2012.
The firm estimates that 20 million consumers in North America bought DLC in the past 12 months, up from 14 million last year and 9 million in 2009.
Drivers for DLC growth include earlier release timing and quicker downloads due to faster broadband speeds.
According to respondents, reason for not downloading digital content for console games includes concerns over privacy, no returns policy, high price and enough free DLC to satisfy the user.
EEDAR suggests that converting the 49 per cent of consumers who do not download digital content into active purchasers would generate another $600 million in revenue.
EEDAR collected data from 3500 respondents in the US and Canada.