EC Survey: Third Of Young People Won’t Pay For Online Content

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EU media commissioner Viviane Reding is still serious about her plans to introduce a single, cross-border European market for online payments – and this time she comes armed with statistics.

She wants online audiovisual content, as well as phyisical entertainment products, to be sold more easily across borders to increase competition and choice. The EC’s Digital Competitiveness report, released today, claims only seven percent of EU citizens have ever bought a product online from another EU state…

Other findings…

One third of Europeans aged 16 to 24 have no intention whatsoever of paying for online content such as video and music – more than twice the average for the EU as a whole.

— Only 4.8 percent of the 16-24 age bracket have bought audiovisual content in the past three months (9.8 percent of all Europeans have done so).

— More than 20 percent of all respondents admitted better quality content, lower prices and more choice would encourage them to pay for content.

— But 48.8 percent of all respondents said nothing would change their minds and convince them to pay.

— Just 15 percent said more convenient payments systems were a factor in them not paying.

Reding: “Governments must show leadership by adopting coordinated policies that dismantle existing barriers to new services… These young people are intensive internet users and are also highly demanding consumers. To release the economic potential of these ‘digital natives’, we must make access to digital content an easy and fair game.” So that’s where a common European paid content market would come in.”

The report warns that Europe is lagging behind the US and Asia in mobile communications, ISPs and even the new “online habitat” of blogs and social networks. So Reding has launched a consultation to form a “new digital agenda” on nine key topics including how to increase digital innovation and provide high-speed internet for all. The consultation is open until October 9 and details are here.

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Michael Odza

I love research reports which think the main point, as this does, is that 49% said nothing would get them to pay for anything online. Right off the bat that means that 51% might, and that's a pretty good market right there. And if you're aiming for a young demographic, I think it's marvelously encouraging that two-thirds might pay. And why don't these studies ever compare that "Never!" number to other studies of actual behavior. How many people who swore 'til death do us part, didn't wait quite that long? About half, in the U.S. How about in Europe?

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