Information and Research company Nielsen has released a report called “Changing Models: A Global Perspective on Paying for Content Online” which aims to quantitatively answer the question of how willing people are to pay for online content.
The survey which polled more than 27,000 consumers including 500 Australians produced some interesting results for local content producers.
First cab off the rank is the highly contentious area of paid news content, particularly considering Rupert Murdoch’s attempts to bring in broad-based paid online news services
The numbers show what a battle he and other traditional news producers have in trying to monetise the content they provide.
Only 1% of respondents said they’d paid for online news in the past with 68% saying they’d never pay for online versions of newspapers and 78% said they wouldn’t pay for online only news content.
Other forms of content fared much better. For instance, 51% of respondents said that they’d consider paying for online movies, 49% said they’d pay for books and 46% said they’d pay for professionally produced videos including television shows.
On the other hands, there was little interested displayed in paying for user-generated content such as blogs (9%), videos (16%) or social communities (14%).
Podcasts (24%), Music Radio (19%) and Talk Radio (11%) were slightly more likely to be paid for by respondents.
Other interesting results were that 74% of respondents said that paid-for content would have to be significantly better than what is currently available for free online before they would consider paying for it and 75% said there should be no advertising on Internet content for which they have paid, the survey said.
While the numbers look grim, you’d expect a large amount of people to say they wouldn’t consider paying for content online, particularly when it’s available for free and there’s no simple distribution method for getting much of that paid content.
It will be interesting to see how responses change next year after the release of the iPad and other devices which are looking to do for all forms of content what the iPod has done for music.