Consumers will pay for e-reader, iPad content: ComScore

The US-based study on consumer attitudes finds a high level of interest in those devices and the content viewed on them.

Publishers in Canada so far seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the Apple iPad and e-readers like the Amazon Kindle, but a new study by ComScore out of the US indicates that consumers may indeed be willing to pay for content created for these devices.

The study asked 2,176 internet users in the US about their awareness, attitudes and intent toward the iPad, e-reader and tablet devices. In some sections of the study, the researchers broke down groups into what they called ‘iOwners,’ or people who own an iPhone or iPod Touch, versus non-iOwners.

The findings indicate that while internet browsing was rated as the top most-likely use for consumers ‘if they owned an iPad,’ 34% of those polled said they would use the device for reading newspapers and magazines, and 36% said they would use it to watch videos and movies.

In regards to e-readers, the study found that younger consumers (those under 44 years old) indicated a ‘high willingness’ to pay for news and magazines specifically formatted for e-readers. Of those polled, 68% of 25- to 34-year-olds, and 59% of 35- to 44-year-olds said they would pay for this content, percentages the authors of the study said were ‘substantially higher’ than for people over the age of 45.

Not surprisingly, the results also indicated that iOwners had very different attitudes toward digital content than non-iOwners. Over half (52%) of iOwners said that they were ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to pay for newspaper and magazine subscriptions formatted for e-readers.

‘These devices have the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the way consumers currently access digital content,’ Serge Matta, ComScore EVP, said in a release. ‘While only time will tell exactly how consumer behavior will change, our research suggests that not only will a variety of markets be impacted by the introduction of these devices but also that there are substantial opportunities for those in the digital content ecosystem.’