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Online Consumers Still Value Professional Productions Over User-Generated Content

5 Jan, 2010 By: John Latchem

A fall 2009 Nielsen survey of more than 27,000 Internet users in 54 countries confirms that some forms of online content are easier to monetize than others.

The findings show that many consumers are willing to pay for online content or are open to increased advertising to pick up the costs, but attitudes vary greatly by geography, demographics and content type.

In general, consumers are more likely to pay for music, movies, games and professionally produced video than for user-generated podcasts, blogs or amateur videos, the survey found. For example, consumers are three times as likely to pay for online music than for a blog. News and information services finished in the middle of the survey.

Music and movies tied atop the list, with 57% of respondents saying they have paid or would consider paying for such content online. Games came in third with 51%, following by “professional produced video” (including TV shows) at 50%.

Online magazines topped the news providers with 49%, following by newspapers at 42%. Just 36% of users said they’d be willing to pay for an Internet-only news source.

Rounding out the list were music radio with 32%; podcasts, 28%; social communities, 28%; news and talk radio, 26%; user-generated video, 24%; and blogs at 20%.

Nearly half (47%) of global respondents said they would tolerate more ads to subsidize free content, but that willingness swings by market. While 57% of respondents in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan are open to more advertising – as are 55% of those in Asia Pacific – just 40% of North American respondents and 39% of European respondents agree.

Nic Covey, director of cross-platform insights for The Nielsen Co., will participate in a media monetization panel Jan. 8 at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.

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