Most People Don't Want To Pay For Content

from the what-a-day dept

It really is “will we ever pay for content” day here at Techdirt. Here’s a new study from Jupiter Media Metrix (a company, by the way, that is probably close to death since no one wants to pay for their content any more) saying that 70% of people surveyed don’t understand why anyone would pay for online content. That’s not a good sign for those folks looking to set up subscription service plans these days.

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Comments on “Most People Don't Want To Pay For Content”

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whit says:

Cross Reference: Where Music Will Be Coming From

It is an interesting combination with the previous story — people won’t pay for “online content,” and yet the content industry (what Mr. George Scriban likes to call “Big Content” is premised on the idea that people must pay for content; what’s more they must pay for what I call a content/artifact — buying a music CD entitles you to play that content via the CD…if you want a cassette tape of that music, you should buy a cassette from the record company, and not duplicate the content onto another artifact. Interesting stuff.

Okay, I think I need to start looking for another job…I’m spending too much time thinking and posting about this garbage now…

Robert (user link) says:

I think that it is a false study

As things stand, there isn’t much content that I’d pay for. However, move forward a year or 2 and I’d imagine that situation will change. I’d didn’t want expensive bottle vodka and lemonade, but now I drink ICE regularly. 30 million people in Japan are paying for wireless content. In Europe and the US there is basically no one. SMS in Europe went from nothing to massive in 1 year. My point is that in 5 years time there may be loads of internet content services that we all wondered how on earth we lived without. Ask people now though, and they will understandably be negative.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: I think that it is a false study

That’s a good point. I’ve always been very much against subscription models, but as I get more and more used to it, there are situations where I see myself paying for stuff.

I still think that a lot of people are making mistakes in trying to create subscription systems that simply hide content that isn’t that valuable behind a password. If a subscription system is going to work it has to be really premium content that is worthwhile.

I don’t think a system that brings in a whole bunch of readers with free content and then suddenly throws up a barrier around half of it is a very smart move.

contented says:

Re: Re: I think that it is a false study

The whole point is that people will pay for content – otherwise magazines and newspapers would not exist! But most online content is not worth the screen space, and also is much harder to read and use than paper based media, so it will be a long haul which needs lots of technical advances before people will buy in to it. Once again we need to look at the pornographers – they are always ahead of the game. They charge for content and I bet quite a few people sign up for it. The content is easy to use and I presume delivers what it promises.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Spot on Mike! I think that it is a false study

I think a system that starts out as completely free, then changes to a subscription base WITHOUT adding/changing any content is betraying its user base.

That being said, I’m sure you’d find that even traditionally free sites who find a way to have VALUE beyond their free stuff can successfully charge for the added value.

I just don’t see any added value anywhere…also, I don’t see anything I find I want to pay for that I can’t get for free anywhere else.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Spot on Mike! I think that it is a false study

Well I’m basically arguing the same thing here. I’m saying that what IS offered for free should either stay free or be CLEARLY marked as a limitted time offering (ie: first 2 months free or something) and that what is offered for pay be ADDITIONAL value.

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