Wednesday, February 17, 2010

79% wouldn't pay for Internet site -- if same content were available free

A new survey has some interesting statistics on Internet viewers' willingness to pay for content. Actually, make that unwillingness to pay since 79 percent say they won't pay -- providing they can get the same content free.

Let's start with the fact that 21 percent said they would pay. Then add in the percentage that say they would pay if the content were improved (71 percent). Then factor in that the first group assumes they can get the same content elsewhere.

But those same consumers are willing to pay for some content, especially movies, music and games.

It seems the key is turning your content into a commodity. If I were operating a site and considering adding a fee, I'd work on a) adding exclusive content, 2) branding some of my content (bylined articles by good reporters and writers, 3) making it easy to pay. All these, of course, were what newspapers did a hundred years ago, the last time they were in a competitive environment. It worked, by the way.

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