According to Nielsen (one of the biggest measurement and survey companies around) American and European consumers are still willing to pay for tablet media and digital content, despite the saturated abundance of free content available.
Survey Shows Consumers Will Pay For Tablet Media
The survey data shows that consumers who own tablets, in the US, UK, and Germany are willing to pay for content in a plethora of tablet media categories except for news. It makes perfect sense that consumers would not be willing to pay for news content and media, especially considering most common news sources do not charge readers to view content online.
As you can see from the image below, the survey reports which application categories consumers have invested their money in, and most importantly identifies prominent tablet media categories for which consumers are willing to pay.
Not surprisingly, the three highest purchased content categories include music, books and movies. A whopping 62% of US tablet owners purchased music content on their device, while 20% of Italians and 19% in the UK spent money on music based media. Following right behind is the digital books market which US consumers spent 58% of their money on, and 26% of surveyed Italians or 19% total consumers in the UK.
Probably what is most surprising is that digital print media (books, and magazines) were included quite high on the tablet media list. With the rise in simple eReader devices like the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, or the Amazon Kindle Fire, consumers have been solely purchasing devices to read their favorite eBooks.
This means that consumers are willing to pay for digital copies of their favorite print material, including popular magazine editions. Digital comics also factor into this category, thus opening up a separate sub-market which consumers are willing to pay for.
Paid Content Still Has a Place Even With Lots of Free Tablet Media Available
Both the Android market (now the Google Play store) and the Apple App store have become increasingly saturated with free applications and tablet media content. It would seem plausible that thanks to the abundance in free content consumers would no longer be willing to pay for various types of applications and tablet media, but that is not the case.
In fact, the Nielsen survey shows exactly the opposite. Consumers are still very much willing to pay for tablet media and content on a regular basis.
Also quite a surprise is the fact that gaming content has not appeared in the tablet media survey. It’s quite relevant that mobile gaming has made its way to tablet devices and likely holds a percentage of consumers who have purchased content on their tablets, although how much we are currently unsure of.
The two least invested tablet media content categories include news and sports. It seems consumers are not willing to pay for tablet media or content which they can freely access elsewhere. News, sports and radio (streaming radio) can all be accessed via alternate subscription or media services and is likely the reason consumers are not willing to pay further.
That being said, television shows are in high demand but are likely so because the content serves as a digital counterpart to the original. Until recently, consumers have only had the option to watch the shows on television through an active cable subscription, or by waiting for DVD release of each season. With the birth of Netflix, consumers can now readily stream their favorite television series to their most used devices and tablets – however they don’t necessarily own a copy of the series for themselves. The digital version, which can be purchased via most tablets allows both ownership and free use of the series (consumers can watch the series whenever they desire).
Manufacturers Should Take Advantage of This Data on Tablet Media
This is very good news for the tablet media and mobile content markets, as it proves consumers don’t just want content that is quickly thrown together to be offered for free. Consumers are willing to pay for tablet media and content especially if it pertains to books, movies, music and television. In fact, for those manufacturers still afraid of making the conversion to digital print – this proves there’s plenty of success and income to be had in the digital world!