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Updated: March 5, 2010 02:49 IST

Online content should stay free, feel most Indian surfers

PTI
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NOT WORTH MY RUPEE: A survey concluded that most Indian surfers are unwilling to pay for online content. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
The Hindu NOT WORTH MY RUPEE: A survey concluded that most Indian surfers are unwilling to pay for online content. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

A majority of Internet surfers in India feel online content should come free, says a survey. However, a good number of them do not mind spending a little if the quality of content is better, the survey added.

According to the study conducted by global consultancy firm The Nielsen Company, nine out of 10 Indians believe that free content on the Internet should remain free in the future.

However, three fourth of the Indian surfers surveyed are willing to pay for the content if the quality is better than the free one currently online.

“Internet is a huge space and content is available for free at the click of a button. Out there exists immense quantity of information but most of it lacks in quality, and this stress on quality by consumers will be a major factor in driving consumers to pay for online content,” Nielsen Online Associate Director Karthik Nagarajan said.

Around 69 per cent respondents said that they would rather pay for individual pieces of content instead of subscribing to the entire website. While another three fourth of the consumers would stop using the website if they have to pay for the content because they can find the same information on a free site, the survey said.

Indian consumers would not mind paying for books, magazines, music, games and movies in the future, while some of them are already paying for books and magazines, it said.

The survey said that half the respodents were prepared to pay for books, while 47 per cent were ready to buy magazines and music. Around 46 per cent were ready to pay for professionally produced videos, 45 per cent for theatrical movies and 44 per cent respondents for games.

Interestingly, a small number of Indians had earlier paid for news and newspaper content and they are not willing to pay for these online contents in the future.

The survey revealed that just 10 per cent of Indian consumers said they had previously paid for Internet-only for news content and 12 per cent had paid for newspaper content online in the past.

In addition, 49 per cent of Indians said they would not consider paying for online newspapers or Internet-only news sources in the future.

The Nielsen, which polled more than 27,000 surfers in 54 countries found that majority of consumers in India are not prepared to pay for consumer-generated content such as blogs (70 per cent), social communities (61 per cent), and consumer generated video (60 per cent).

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