Australia consumers are ready to pay for online content with thousands already buying books, music and other content from overseas based online sites.
According to research Company Nielsen consumers are also prepared to pay for movies, music and TV shows as TV manufacturers and ISP’s move to delivering Internet based content.
The Nielsen survey which polled more than 27,000 consumers examined attitudes to paying for online content. Results show that while few consumers have paid for online content in the past, just over half (51%) said they would consider paying for online movies and many also indicated they would pay for books (49%) and professionally produced video, including current television shows (46%).
Conversely, fewer consumers in Australia were prepared to pay for consumer-generated content such as blogs (9%), consumer-generated video (16%) or social communities (14%). Radio and podcasts also fared poorly in the study with less than one quarter of consumers (24%) indicating they would consider paying for podcasts, 19 percent said they would consider paying for music radio and only 11 percent would pay for news/talk radio.
When it came to news content online – perhaps the most hotly debated of any of the paid-for content model discussions – just one percent of Australian consumers said they had previously paid for Internet-only news, and four percent had paid for newspaper content online in the past. Asked whether they would consider paying for online newspapers or Internet-only news sources in the future, the majority said they would not (68% and 78% respectively).
“Australian consumers have a much higher propensity to pay for content which they know has been professionally produced such as music, movies and games, and an overwhelming majority (74%) say 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,” observed Mark Higginson, Director of Analytics for Nielsen’s online business in Australia “On the other hand, content which has been created by fellow consumers such as blogs or videos holds little value, in part due to the extent to which such content is readily available online for free and, as a result, we are seeing fewer instances where consumers are forking out.”
A third of Australian consumers (33%) said they were willing to accept more advertisements online to support content costs, however, consumers drew the line at combining online advertising with paid-for content, with three quarters (75%) saying there should be no advertising on Internet content that they have paid for. Interestingly, an overwhelming majority (75%) felt that their existing off-line subscriptions to services such as newspapers, magazines, radio or television should extend to the online medium.
“Consumers’ attitudes to paying for content are still quite fragmented and highlight just how discriminating Internet audiences can be when it comes to different types of content,” noted Higginson. “For anyone providing online content, these are tricky times and monetisation models will have to be flexible – content providers need to look at providing more, not fewer, options to supporting the cost of their content.”