The guessing game continues on what kinds of online content consumers will be willing to pay for. This Nielsen survey, released this week, is based on responses from more than 27,000 people in 52 countries, an ambitious sampling that turned up a few surprises and more of the same ambiguities. Note the sizeable percentage of those who have already paid or would consider paying for newspaper and magazine content. But also note this:
At the same time, 71% of global consumers say online content of any kind will have to be considerably better than what is currently free before they will pay for it.
Nearly eight out of every ten (79%) would no longer use a web site that charges them, presuming they can find the same information at no cost.
In other words, content would have to be really good and also unavailable for free. That's an enormous burden for an online publication - and yet you have to wonder whether consumers are going to waste their days shopping for free information from unfamiliar sources. I suspect not, especially if the information is particular to their community or interests. From the report:
The younger the consumers the more apt they are to have already paid, or be willing to pay, for various types of content. This may seem counterintuitive considering that many so-called "digital natives" know how to end-run pay sites and have done so in the past. But it reflects a realization that they are now in a world where the value of content is platform-agnostic; and video consumed online may be no less valuable than watched on television.