7 Mar 2010

Paid-for content: Why it may not work

A salutary lesson in what people really are prepared to pay for online has come my way from Nielsen.

In summary, consumers are most likely to fork out cash for online movies, music and games rather than socially created content or communities or existing free news content tha is repackaged. Seemingly, consumers are also more likely to pay for online theatrical releases, music and games - in short, things they already pay for. The Nielsen survey consulted 27,000 consumers across 52 countries.

  • 85% prefer that free content remain free
  • 79% would stop using a web site that charges them, especially if they can find the same information at no cost
  • 78% believe they should be able to use newspaper/magazine web site content free if they are offline subscribers
  • 71% of global consumers say online content will have to offer considerably more value than that which is freely available before they will pay
  • 64% of those surveyed believe that if they must pay for content online, there should be no ads
  • 62% agree that once they purchase content, it should be theirs to copy or share as they choose
  • 47% of respondents are willing to accept more advertising to subsidise free content
  • 43% say an easy payment method would make them more likely to buy content online

The consumers surveyed remain ambivalent about whether the quality of online content would suffer if companies could not charge for it.

Forrester research seems to bear out the Nielsen findings too.

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