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Study reveals consumers’ willingness to pay for content

Graeme Parton

The results of a new study have revealed that an increasing number of consumers in the UK are willing to pay for content.

The poll, which was commissioned by KPMG and conducted by online market research firm YouGov, also found that the average time each consumer spends reading books, watching television and even using social media sites has dropped slightly.

Commenting on how the findings were related, KMPG’s head of media, David Elms, said:

“Contrary to popular perception consumers are increasingly prepared to spend money, especially for digital content. The results prove that media companies are already changing habits and persuading consumers that content is worth paying for.”

The increased readiness to part with money is thought by many to reflect a significant improvement in the general quality of content online. While many brands have been forced into focusing their efforts on creating genuine, useful content by Google’s recent algorithm changes, most have found that they’re reaping the rewards as a result.

The surge in digital content spending has no doubt been driven by the mass spread of tablets and smartphones. Around 50% of UK consumers are now smartphone owners, up 6% from 2012’s figure, while 20% own a tablet computer – a 7% increase.

The figures also showed how consumers are turning, in particular, to forms of digital content that replicate traditional formats – eBooks and news apps have both seen a rise in popularity, for instance.

Elms went on talk about the shift from traditional media consumption, saying:

“Although UK consumers have been brought up on a diet of free digital content, attitudes are slowly beginning to change. UK consumers are beginning to acknowledge the perks of paying for the digital content.”

While people are beginning to realise the value of good quality content, more than half still said they turn to the Internet for news because it’s free – a clear sign that business owners can benefit from offering regular, relevant news updates at no cost.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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