Most Web Users Like Advertising-Supported Content Model

November 5, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Data-driven | Personalization | Privacy & Security | Regulatory | Retail & E-Commerce

When given a choice about how web content should be paid for, the vast majority (72%) of Web users prefer that websites not charge them – and instead rely on advertising for revenue, according to a Direct Marketing Association (DMA) study.

Among the findings of the study:

  • 86% of consumers said they usually visit free websites where the content they use is paid for by advertisers; 10% said that the websites they access either charge them a subscription or pay for each download or use.
  • 81% said the internet made their lives better by making it easier to gain access to products, services, and content such as news, video, or music.
  • When asked about their internet shopping habits compared with two years ago, the overwhelming majority (86%) of web users said they were doing the same amount of shopping or more.
  • When all respondents, online and offline, were asked whether they were aware that internet companies collect information regarding their web browsing, 30% said they had been unaware.

“A significant portion” of those who were not aware had not yet used the internet, the DMA said.

As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) examines online behavioral targeting and some groups have called for an online “do-not-track” list, the DMA said providing relevant online marketing to consumers is helping to drive the growth of the internet.

“The verdict is in – consumers have overwhelmingly responded to an open internet supported by relevant advertising,” said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr.

About the study: A national survey of more than 1,000 adult consumers was conducted during the weekend of October 26-28 on behalf of DMA by ORC International of Princeton, NJ.

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