Survey: Younger Users Willing to Pay for Books, Newspapers for iPad

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Younger potential iPad owners are more willing to pay for books, newspapers, and magazines formatted for the device than users in older demographics, according to a survey conducted by Comscore. The survey was conducted among 2,176 Internet users who were asked about their awareness of several digital media devices (iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, etc.), as well as their intentions for such devices.

The survey found that 68% of potential iPad owners aged 25-34 years olds and 59% of owners 35-44 years old would be willing to pay for such content, “representing substantially higher percentages than people age 45 and older.”

That data might be surprising to some people in that younger Internet users are often considered more prone to taking content available on the Internet for granted, with many having the expectation that such content be free.

That said, it could also be expected that many of the older-than-45 participants in this survey may not be interested in consuming books, newspapers, and magazines on the iPad in the first place, as that demographic is more prone to preferring physical, paper versions of such content. That lack of interest could possibly skew their willingness to pay for digital forms.

The survey also found a strong minority of potential iPad owners did not plan on buying apps from Apple’s App Store. Should that bear out once iPads are actually in the hands of users, it would represent a sharp differentiator between iPod touch/iPhone owners and iPad owners.

Instead, users currently envision themselves browsing the Internet, reading and writing e-mail, consuming ebooks and other digital media, listening to music, and playing games.

Comscore Chart

Not surprisingly, those users who already own iPods and iPhones were significantly more aware of the iPad, but the survey found that just as many people were aware of the iPad, which was introduced in January of 2010 and won’t ship until April 3rd, as were aware of Amazon’s Kindle, which has been on the market for several years.

15% of respondents were seriously considering buying the iPad in the next three months, making the iPad #1 in that category. Amazon’s Kindle was #2 with 14% planning a purchase in three months, with Barnes & Noble’s Nook #3 at 10%, Sony Reader at #4 with 9%, and Samsung’s Papyrus device #5 at 8%.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

That actual question sure doesn’t suggest to users that they have to pay for some of those things. I am pretty skeptical about these “what would you pay for” surveys. They need an anchor, such as a set of previous studies that track what people said versus what people did. Anyone who does surveys knows there is loads of psychology in the questions themselves that invariably skew the results (often intentionally).

The iPad may be *magical*, but it’s not going to increase the number of books people purchase and read, except perhaps at the margin of what people can take with them that they aren’t already reading on the web. Most people still can’t read while doing other activities—a place where audiobooks have been transformative and additive to book sales.


The iPad may be *magical*, but it?s not going to increase the number of books people purchase and read

Not necessarily. When my dad got a kindle he started reading and purchasing more books because it was so easy for him to take it along on the subway.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Right, but your Dad probably didn’t get a Kindle so he could play iPod Touch games and view HTML5 websites. I think his subway use falls under my umbrella of “at the margin of what people can take with them”.

I’m not an iFan to begin with, but this iBooks thing looks more like Apple trying to create a casual usage case than fill an untapped need. Serious readers will learn from other serious readers that their money is better spend on an eInk device anyway. Again, audiobooks are the far more important trend in this space.


I am curious why Che Bosco reads TMO.  Is it an ego thing, to get lots of attention from his remarks?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Che Bosco reads and participates in TMO because he is a long time Mac fan and developer, and a genuine TMO fan going back to day 1 and before. If you have a substantive disagreement with what I write, please explain it! We can have a discussion! But questioning my motives is kinda 3rd grade, doncha think?


I queried you motives because I have rarely ready anything positive you have had to say.  Have you been disillusioned by the products of Apple Inc.?

As to why I question motives; it is because I find them one of the more interesting things in life.  I apologize for passing judgement.  grin

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Fine. Well, you’re just not too good at getting to the bottom of people’s motives then. My ego is boosted enough every time someone writes me a check. I’ll tell you exactly what motivates me here these days. I want to understand how some of you tick, because many of your are my prototypical customer. I find the level of trust and faith you have in Apple curious, especially given the kinds of things Apple has been doing lately. A decade ago, the thing that attracted people to Apple products was that they opened up possibilities. Elegance was a nice aspect of them, there for people who appreciated it. Think Different. Today, Apple wants to be arbiter of taste, function, and even purpose. Apple is no longer a beacon of hope. It is a hammer of conformity.

The music from original Droid commercial was really prescient, no? It’s *magic*.

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