According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 65% of Internet users have paid to access or download some kind of digital content with music and software being the most common purchases.
In the survey 755 Internet users aged 18 and older were asked if they had ever paid to access or download 15 different kinds of online material such as software, articles, and music.
Nearly two-thirds – 65% - said yes to purchasing at least one category with over half of those who made purchases buying 3 or more types of online content. The average expense for those who have paid for content was approximately $47 per month for material downloaded or accessed, including both subscription (an average of $12 per month) and individual file access (an average of $22 per month) but this average was pulled high by a small proportion of high spenders with 43% spending a monthly total of $10 or less.
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The findings with regard to user's purchase of different types of content were are follows:
21% cell phones or tablet apps
19% digital games
18% digital newspapers/magazines/articles/reports
16% videos/movies/TV shows
12% digital photos
11% premium content on site that also have free material
5% tools or materials to use in video or computer games
5% "cheats" or codes to help in video games
5% access to online dating sites or services
2% adult content
6% other content not listed
Similar percentages of men and women internet users say they pay for online content in most of the categories, with the exception of software, for which online men are more likely to purchase than online women.
Internet users between the ages of 30-49 are the most likely to have purchased most kinds of content, compared with those who are younger or older.
Concerning paying for music online, the internet users in the 18- 29 and 30-49 age groups are more likely to be online purchasers than those in the older age groups.
For software, male internet users purchase software online in significantly higher percentages than female internet users. More internet users in the 30-49 age group buy online software than those in other age groups.
Read the report
The cost of content
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