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BizReport : Internet : July 27, 2010

KPMG: Dutch least likely to part with cash for content

Many Internet users would rather have their personal data tracked and have advertising placed before them than pay for online content, according to a global survey from KPMG, not least the Dutch.

by Helen Leggatt

kpmg logo.jpgOf all the countries studied by KPMG for its annual "Consumers & Convergence" survey the Dutch were the most likely to discontinue the use of a website if it chose to charge for content with just 6% prepared to pay.

Users in Canada (15%) and the U.K. (19%) were similarly reluctant.

In those countries with a low tolerance for paying for online content there was a higher acceptance of online advertising in return for free, or heavily subsidised, content.

In the U.K., for example, 75% of Internet users were happy to have advertising put in front of them in exchange for free content and almost half (48%) were happy for their personal data to be tracked.

"They do see the value in allowing service providers to have access to the information necessary for more tailored services, but they are only prepared to do this if the risks are controlled and, crucially, if there is some value in it for them," said Tudor Aw, head of technology at KPMG Europe.

These findings come hot on the heels of news that Britain's "The Times" newspaper lost almost two-thirds of its online readership since it began charging readers a small registration fee ($1.55) in June of this year.

Experian Hitwise published figures showing a drop in visits to the iconic newspaper's website from 15% of all U.K. Internet traffic pre-registration to a recent 4.16%.

Tags: consumer behavior, consumer tracking, online advertising, online content, paywall

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