Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

We’re increasingly paying for content–yay

Posted on | December 30, 2010 | No Comments

It’s taken time, but we’re starting to scoop the toothpaste back in the tube.

Pew Research reports today that two thirds of us are willing to pay for online content, and the average user spends about $10 a month on such content.

That’s good news for those of us trying to monetize what we think is valuable news and information content online–content that we tripped over ourselves in the past two decades giving away.

The bad news is we still have a ways to go. The hottest paid content (in order) is:

  • Music
  • Software downloads
  • Phone or tablet apps
  • Games

Just 18 percent have paid for digital newspaper, magazine or journal articles or reports and only 11 percent have paid for members-only premium content on sites that also offer free content.

In the publishing industry, we need to push the paid needle higher. At UBM Electronics, the goal right now is roughly the equivalent of one old-fashioned newspaper annual subscription per user per year.

This looks reasonable based on the Pew study. As information becomes infinite and ubiquitous, users are starting to long for the predictable, the findable, the consistent.

EE Times has begun actively doing this with its paid-for EE Times Confidential publication, and we’ve got more in store for 2011.

Stay tuned.

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