Who Is Willing to Pay For What Online

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With so much available online for free, it might be surprising to discover that almost two-thirds of web users pay for what they’re looking for. A new survey from the Pew Institute’s Internet and American Life Project has found that 65% of internet users have paid for some form of content, with music and software downloads providing the bulk of those purchases.

The survey, carried out in October and November this year, asked 755 internet users about different kinds of online material that could be purchased or accessed by payment – specifically, “intangible” material that existed as digital data, as opposed to physical objects purchased through a storefront like Amazon.com or travel and accommodation from sites like Expedia.com. 33% of those surveyed said that they had purchased music or software online, with others including smartphone apps, videogames, movies, e-books and access to news sources amongst their purchases. Perhaps unsurprisingly, only 2% of those surveyed admitted to paying for adult content.

Interestingly, almost half of those taking part (46%) had only purchased one or two of the different options available, with 16% admitting to purchasing six or more of the fifteen options. The typical user was estimated to spending around $10 a month on online content, with users aged between 30-49 more likely to pay for content. According to Pew, there is no clear breakdown for gender or race for any particular option, with the exception of software purchases and adult content, both of which came from a mostly male demographic.

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