The Content Trick

DQI Bureau
New Update

If you were planning to make money by selling online content, hold on. A new

survey by Nielsen reveals that 90% of the Indians want free content on the

Internet to remain free in the future. Dont lose heart though. This survey also

gives some feedback on what content creators and content vendors need to do, if

they want to make money from this business.


The one overwhelming (three-fourth) feedback of the respondents is that they

would not mind paying if the quality of content is significantly better than

what is being currently offered today. And a good 70% will pay if they can copy

the content and share it with others. About 69% would prefer to pay just for the

information they want rather than the entire stuff.

Unfortunately, a big number of respondents (60-70%) said they would not be

interested to pay for user generated content available on blogs and social

networking communities.


Another very significant feedback, and I believe that it is probably more

important than other feedbacks is about the ease of payment. The Nielsen survey

reveals that 63% users will pay if the payment system is easy to use. I can

empathize with such users, and believe that a lot needs to be done in this

direction. For instance, I have been trying to buy an online subscription of a

leading environment magazine, but have given up after struggling for several


However, the more encouraging conclusion from the survey is that Indians

realize that unless content companies make money, the quality of the content

they produce and sell will continue to be poor. They are therefore ready to

accept more ads on the Internet, if it can somehow be separate from the content,

and not come in the way of using that content. This, I think is a very positive

feedback. The perception, all along, of the average Indian consumer is that he

wants everything for free.

Clearly, more Indians will be willing to pay for online content, so we will

see more players coming in. At the same time consumers maturity and expectation

levels will go up. And perhaps more types of consumers will emerge.

Content players will have to quickly rework their strategies. For instance,

generating quality content will not be easy or cheap, but making the sites and

payment processes user friendly is not very difficult too. Packaging will have

to be much better, and there will have to be options for pay for what you buy.

From here, it is going to be a very interesting journey, but difficult.

Ibrahim Ahmad