Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Nearly Two-Thirds of Internet Users Say They Have Paid for Online Content

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Over the years that the Internet has registered its meteoric growth in the world of media, challenging traditional platforms like print and broadcast, content companies have tried to create a viable business model for their ventures.

One of the big challenges, especially for newspapers, was web users' expectation of free content. The resistance to paying for content could not be offset by online advertising, which doesn't command anywhere near the rates that newspapers get for print ads or that broadcasters pull in for TV commercials. That challenge still shows itself in the debate within the news industry about whether or not to charge for content, something that only a handful of companies, like the Wall Street Journal, have done successfully.

InternetBut news reflects only a fraction of the offerings in the online world. The Pew Research Center, which has just released a survey on how many users have paid for content, notes, "The Internet has become a viable distribution channel for a variety of online content, especially in the era of broadband ... Roughly 66% of American adults currently have home broadband connections, which enables users to quickly and easily download software, movies, television shows, music, e‐books, and news articles. As a result, more and more commercial entities are exploring the Internet as a business model for delivering these types of digital content and media to potential consumers."

The survey, conducted Oct. 28-Nov. 1, found that 65 percent of users have paid to download or access some kind of content from the Internet. Pew differentiates between paying for content that is created for or offered online from using the Internet to buy "tangible" products and services like books, musics, CDs, toys or clothing. A previous Pew study had found that 66 percent of Internet users made those kinds of purchases.

When it came to content, the biggest group of users (43 percent) said they spent up to $10 monthly. A quarter of users reported spending between $11 and $30 a month, while 14 percent laid out $31 to $50 a month.

Angry Birds

Not surprisingly -- in this world of iTunes -- a third of Internet users have paid for digital music online. An equal amount have paid for software, while 21 percent have shelled out for apps for their cell phone or tablet computers and 19 percent paid for digital games. (Speaking of games, check out the phenomenon of "Angry Birds" whose creator, a small Finnish company named Rovio, says is played 200 million minutes daily by addicted users. The New York Times reports the iPhone version has brought in more than $8 million in revenue).

As far as news goes, 18 percent said they had paid for digital newspaper, magazine or journal articles. Most of those who pay for news content are college graduates or people earning $75,000 a year or more.

Pew's Jim Jansen said what he found surprising in the survey results was that "the percentage of Internet users purchasing online content is nearly the same as those purchasing other products and services, such as books and travel."

Follow Poll Watch on Twitter

Visit the Poll Watch Home Page and see all the latest polls in one place

Filed Under: Media, Polls, Poll Watch
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

1 Comment

Filter by:
tistolaugh

When you look at the breakdown, it is far less dramatic than the sensational headline leads you to believe. A mere 18% have paid for articles, news and reports. That's a staggeringly low number, as are the rest of the numbers, in this Internet age while the highest percentages go for music, software and video games.

December 30 2010 at 4:35 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>