Yes, some people actually do pay for Internet content

As the battle rages on about whether consumers will pay for the Internet content they consume, a new report authored by Pew sheds some light on the average surfer’s buying habits.

The survey claims that 65% of American-based Internet users have paid for Internet content, but sadly this may not be enough to fuel the paid content industry unless we’re talking repeat buying.

Accounting for 33% of the market, “Music, software, and apps are the most popular content that Internet users have paid to access or download, although the range of paid online content is quite varied and widespread,” said Pew.

Er, but don’t forget pornography, as that accounts for paid content as well. And e-books, of course, which were purchased by one in 10 repsondents.

Of the 755 Internet users polled, 18% said they paid for digital newspapers, magazines or journal articles, which is good news for companies like the New York Times that are moving towards a paid subscription model. 

Other interesting stats reveal that men and women pay for online content in the same way with the except of software and probably porn. 

Subscription services weighs in at around 23% with pay-per-purchase weighing in at 16% and streaming services accounting for 8%.

One of the larger trends highlighted in the study is “What was really surprising was the percentage of Internet users purchasing online content is nearly the same as those purchasing other products and services, such as books and travel. Additionally, the range of online content that Internet users purchase is quite varied,” said Jim Janesen, author of the Pew Internet report.

Overall, the study shows it’s not a complete death sentence to design a business around paid content subscriptions of fees rather than advertisement-based.

On the other hand, many companies forget the power of advertisements and Search Engine Optimization value from various websites linking to your site and sharing your content, rather than demanding money from the readers.