iPhone’s Culture of Paid Content

The iPhone and its “paid apps” have created a culture that makes users more inclined than the general population to pay for content. As was widely reported last week UK law firm Olswang released findings from a consumer survey (in the UK, n=1,013) that showed iPhone users are more willing to pay for things than others.

In the charts below the blue bars are iPhone users, the red all respondents. The question, essentially, is what would you pay for:

At the very top above, 30% of iPhone owners say they would pay for “newspaper articles or columns which you can read on a PC or portable device . . .”  That compares with 19% of the general respondent sample. The numbers are higher for magazines: 38% vs. 29%  overall.

While it will be very difficult for newspapers (absent some clever pricing/bundling) to get people to pay for their content online, mobile and eReaders represent an opportunity to create a new “culture,” that will support paid subscriptions. The problem, however, is that already much of the newspaper content is available for free on the iPhone and other smartphones via the mobile Internet or apps.

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Related: See David Carr’s eulogy (of sorts) for traditional print media . . . and Andrew Shotland’s SEO-related advice for newspapers.

One Response to “iPhone’s Culture of Paid Content”

  1. Will Scott Says:

    I think it’s important to keep in mind that these users are already paying above average rates for the iPhone data plans.

    So there’s a demonstrated tolerance for spending even before one buys an app.

    That said, I’d gladly pay a buck or two to view NYT online or on iPhone.

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