iPhone owners more willing to pay for digital content

iPhone owners are more willing to pay for digital content than the wider online population, according to research from media law firm Olswang. In a survey of 1,500 consumers aged over 13, 58% said they would pay to access a film online that had just been released in the cinema. But among iPhone users, 73% said they would pay. Almost a third of consumers would be prepared to pay for seven-day catch-up TV, which is currently free, rising to 41% in iPhone owners.

"People get used to paying for content, such as an app on the iPhone, because it is so easy," says John Enser, a partner in Olswang's media, communications and tech team. "Suddenly, the idea of paying for something becomes much less of a barrier than it is online where people are used to getting so much for free."

However the results include more bad news for the newspaper industry. Just 19% of those questioned are prepared to pay for online news, although this rises to 30% among iPhone users. The report follows a survey by Forrester which says 80% of consumers would stop visiting online sites if they had to pay. Both surveys are an ominous sign for the increasing number of publications, including News Corp, which plan to erect paywalls or introduce subscriptions. "Murdoch really does face an uphill struggle," says Enser, referring to News Corp’s plans.