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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 16, 2014

Survey reveals general reluctance to pay for online content and apps

A survey conducted in the U.S. and U.K. aimed at finding out consumer attitudes to online content and apps reveals a general reluctance to pay despite intolerance for advertising.

by Helen Leggatt

The vast majority of U.K. respondents to CloudSense's survey said they do not currently pay for online media or apps that provide content such as news, sports, business and fashion. In fact, only 7% said they were prepared to subscribe to receive such content.

The survey was carried out by CloudSense across 4,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K.

"The aim of the survey was to find out exactly how media is being consumed in order to provide publishers and media houses with insights on how people view subscriptions and paywalls," explained Richard Britton, CEO, CloudSense.

Overall, the results showed "a general reluctance to pay", although U.S. consumers were more likely to pay a subscription for content (24%) than their British counterparts (7%).

Perhaps, then, those classed as 'digital natives' (age 16-24) would be the game-changers? Alas, no. This age group was shown to spend the least of all purchasing media content. While 58% of all age groups current spend less than £1 (US$1.62), 78% of those in the 16-24 age group spend that amount.

"Publishers need to find their own winning formula soon and this probably means fast iteration, failing and then quickly trying again before they succeed, otherwise readers will go elsewhere to competitors who have successfully made the shift to digital," says Britton.

"The changes need to go far beyond the type of content and deals offered. It will take nothing less than a radical transformation of infrastructure to allow enhanced agility. This will enable them to bring more innovations to market faster. In short, they need to rebuild their business to achieve the flexibility a digital future will demand."

Last month, Ebuzzing released findings of a survey into whether Brits would be prepared to pay to avoid online advertising. Ebuzzing calculated that it would cost each individual £140 (US$232.24) to have an ad-free Internet experience. However, despite this amount being similar to the U.K.'s yearly television license fee almost all (98%) said they would not be prepared to pay and would, instead, tolerate ads.

Tags: advertising, apps, consumer survey, content research, online media

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