Pew Finds 65% Of Net Users Have Paid For Online Content

    December 30, 2010

When it comes to paying for online content, there are lots of outlooks.  Some people subscribe to multiple news sites and spend hours on iTunes every week.  Others set the Pirate Bay as their homepage.  Now, following a study, Pew’s claimed that 65 percent of Internet users have paid for digital content at some point.

Note that the past tense definitely applies here; Pew’s question included the phrase "if you have ever paid," so it’s hard to draw conclusions about future or even current spending patterns.

One other major point: Pew made clear in its report, "Of those internet users who have purchased online content, nearly half (46%) have purchased only one or two of the types of content covered in our survey."

Still, Pew contacted 755 Internet users in the course of this survey, so the data is hard to ignore.  And you can have a look at Pew’s findings for yourself below.

-33% of internet users have paid for digital music online
-33% have paid for software
-21% have paid for apps for their cell phones or tablet computers
-19% have paid for digital games
-18% have paid for digital newspaper, magazine, or journal articles or reports
-16% have paid for videos, movies, or TV shows
-15% have paid for ringtones
-12% have paid for digital photos
-11% have paid for members-only premium content from a website that has other free material on it
-10% have paid for e-books
-7% have paid for podcasts
-5% have paid for tools or materials to use in video or computer games
-5% have paid for "cheats or codes" to help them in video games
-5% have paid to access particular websites such as online dating sites or services
-2% have paid for adult content

Pew also reported, "The average expense for those who have paid for content was approximately $47 per month for material they have downloaded or accessed, including both subscription (an average of $12 per month) and individual file access (an average of $22 per month).  However, some extremely high-end users pull the average higher, with most purchasers spending about $10 per month."