iPhone owners are more willing to pay for digital content than the wider online audience, two new UK surveys find. The results may support publishers looking to the iPhone to boost sales of digital magazines, video and other material. The introduction of the App Store, where iPhone owners purchase software from their handsets, has developed a class of consumers less resistant to digital purchases.
“It seems to be that people get used to paying for content, such as an application on the iPhone because it is so easy and the idea of paying for something suddenly becomes much less of a barrier that it is online,” said Peter Enser, partner with Olswang which creates the annual Olswang Convergence Study.
The study found 73 percent of iPhone owners would pay online for a movie recently released in theaters. By comparison, 58 percent of overall adults surveyed said they would pay for movies online. In another case, 67 percent of iPhone users said they would pay online for a movie that won’t be released on DVD soon. Just 52 percent of the general survey agreed to such purchases. The study found 54 percent of iPhone users (compared to 40 percent overall) would pay to watch a film already on DVD or available on TV via on-demand.
For publishers, the survey results were also promising. The Olswang Study, created by the Olswang and YouGov, found 42 percent of iPhone owners would buy an online book, versus 30 percent overall and 38 percent would buy a magazine online, compared to 29 percent overall.
To reap maximum economic benefit, companies need to build payment services “that are as easy to use as that on the iPhone,” said Matthew Phillips, partner with Olswang. A group of 50 publishers, including Time Inc., Conde Nast and Hearst, are on the verge of creating a company that would sell digital magazines via the iPhone, Apple’s rumored tablet and other e-readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle.