UK consumers unlikely to pay for content, says research

UK consumers are less willing to pay for digital content than others around the world, according to research.

Brits are, however, more willing to accept targeted advertising on computers and mobile devices and share our personal profile data.

KPMG’s Consumers & Convergence IV” an annual global survey of consumers use of mobile and PC technology found that 81% of people in the UK would go elsewhere if previously free sites began charging for content. Only 19% would be prepared to pay.   

Globally the figure is much higher with 43% willing to pay for content, rising to 59% percent among the Asia-Pacific countries.

The survey also found that almost three quarters of UK consumers are willing to receive online ads if it means content will cost less.

Tudor Aw, head of technology, KPMG Europe LLP says: “UK consumers still haven’t come around to the idea of paying for digital content and are clear that they will move to other sites if pay walls are put up.”

KPMG says while the results are bad news for newspaper pay walls, the outlook is better for videos, music and games creators as consumers are more willing to pay for content.

The Times is reported to have lost around two thirds of its online users since introducing its pay wall earlier this month.

Aw adds: “Although consumers are resistant to paying for content, they are becoming more accepting of viewing advertising and for their profile information to be tracked. This continues a trend we have seen in previous years and again acts as a pointer as to whether a pay or ad-funded model will eventually succeed.”

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