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

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%.