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23 April 2021
No-one wants a subscription-based internet
Subscription modelsDigital media consumptionOnline & digital newspapers
Europeans understand and appreciate the ad-supported internet, according to a new survey which shows that three quarters would choose the current experience over one where they would need to pay to access most sites and apps.
Why it matters
The report from IAB Europe suggests that a subscription-based model would result in news publishers, app developers and other content and service providers having to compete for funding from a narrow pool of subscribers.
As well limiting investment for R&D and innovation, this would also have potential societal implications as the sustainability of the media is called into question: almost half of European surveyed (45%) describe news outlets as ‘very important’, but only just over a quarter (28%) would be prepared to pay for them.
Almost half (48%) of Europeans say they would avoid paying subscriptions, thereby reducing their internet activity significantly. The majority (78%) say they would reduce their internet activity to some degree.
The average European will subscribe and pay to access fewer than five sites in total; 51% of Europeans are only willing to subscribe to three or fewer sites or apps.
The majority of Europeans would expect to pay less than €4 per month for most of the web services they currently use.
Music streaming (51%) and email (50%) are the only sites and services to which a majority of Europeans would subscribe.
75% say they have benefited from relevant, targeted advertising; and 32% say they find advertising useful ‘always’ or ‘often’.
More Europeans find advertising useful than resent it. “There is a complete disconnect with the policy discourse in Brussels,” adds IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan.