Pew study hints at what Web users will pay for

The Pak Banker - - I Nternational -

NEW YORK: The Web may seem like the land of some­thing for noth­ing. Free video. Free news. Even free tools such as word pro­cess­ing and spread­sheets.

But al­most two-thirds of adult In­ter­net users in the U.S. have paid for ac­cess to at least one of these in­tan­gi­ble items on­line, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey from the Pew In­ter­net and Amer­i­can Life Project.

Whether peo­ple will pay for dif­fer­ent types of ma­te­rial on the Web is among the most press­ing ques­tions fac­ing me­dia com­pa­nies in the 21st cen­tury.

As peo­ple shift their at­ten­tion to the In­ter­net from more tra­di­tional ways of en­joy­ing me­dia, the com­pa­nies that pro­vide ev­ery­thing from movies to mys­tery nov­els want to make sure they can still get paid for what they do. The big TV net­works want view­ers to pay for full ac­cess to episodes of their fa­vorite shows. News­pa­per com­pa­nies want read­ers to pay for news. Book pub­lish­ers want higher prices for dig­i­tal edi­tions of new re­leases. The new fig­ures from Pew sug­gest pay­ing for con­tent on­line is at least not a com­pletely for­eign idea for most peo­ple. About a third of re­spon­dents said they have paid for dig­i­tal mu­sic. -Afp

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