Nielsen study finds most tablet owners are willing to pay for content


A recent study by the media reading company Nielsen states that most American and European tablet owners are more likely to feel comfortable paying for content despite the amount of free content readily available. The data comes from the fourth quarter of 2011, rounding out trends from the end of this past year.

More than half of tablet owners from both continents spend money on entertainment categories, with music, books and movies rounding out the top three types of media bought on tablets. In the United States, 62 percent of tablet owners pay for music even though songs barely need the large screen size to be enjoyed. Other large types of media American tablet owners pay for include e-magazines, television shows, sports content, and radio streaming.

Nielsen_Tablet-Owners-Paid-ContentThe study also found that Italians are the most likely of all European tablet owners to buy content, with 44 percent of tablet owners in Italy willing to pay for news. Only 19 percent of those in the United Kingdom and 15 percent in Germany are as likely to pay for news content, and both consumers from these country are unlikely to buy any other type of media content Americans typically would.

With America as more of a consumeristic country, it comes as no surprise that people are willing to splurge to enjoy content at a maximized quality on their tablets. Most tablets also do not come cheap, with the new iPad released today costing at least $500 for the lowest specs. If tablet owners have the money to invest in a quality tablet, a few dollars per content are probably not much to spare for heightened convenience.

Looking at the top three categories, it also seems likely that tablet owners bought music, books and movies because they are no free alternatives. Much like the difficulty in finding free television shows to stream online, tablet owners are likely to just pay for the high quality content than to search the world wide web to stream one pixelated episode from Chinese video sharing sites like Youku or Tudou. When Megavideo existed, clicking through those sites are also cluttered with pop up advertisements, and many like to have you wait a couple of seconds for the direct links.

We also wonder why news is the least likely category of content Americans are willing to purchase, especially now that many major news outlet such as the New York Times require a membership to view more than a certain amount of articles per month. Perhaps the use of Twitter and other sites that syndicate the same story for free help American tablet owners save on buying content because it is easier to find free alternative for news than movies and TV shows.

Do you own a tablet? What type of media are you likely to buy more than others, and why?

Chart Image Credit: Nielsen

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