BERLIN: A majority of internet users in Germany would rather be exposed to advertising than pay for online services and content, a study has found.

BITKOM, the trade body, partnered with Aris, the research firm, to poll 1,000 people, all of which were 14 years old or above.

Overall, 64% of the panel agreed they would happily exchange witnessing ads on the web for free access to internet sites and the digital material they contain.

Totals here rose to 83% for 14–29 years olds, versus 49% among their counterparts over 50 years of age.

By contrast, just 28% of the whole sample expressed a preference for meeting a fee in order to avoid commercial communications.

Participants who were 50 years old and above logged 37% on this metric, more than doubling the total of 14% registered by those under 29 years of age.

"Many internet users are open to advertising because it allows a low level of pricing for online services," Dieter Kempf, the president of BITKOM, said. "But the group who will pay to be commercial-free also hold a high potential."

Kempf further suggested that it was incumbent on members of the internet and advertising industries to be clear about the importance of brand messages in supporting the current online arrangements.

"Whoever wants to restrict advertising must also say openly at the same time that they are asking the consumer to pay," he said.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff