92% Europeans would reduce use of internet services if switched to pay access

FEDMA article – Most of the EU citizens are not willing to pay for any services or content online, while 9 out of 10 users say that they would stop accessing their most used websites and application if they are not offered for free. These findings were released by the recently published study on European online experience driven by advertising, co-funded by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA).

According to the research, 68% of European never pay for any online service or content, among citizens with lower incomes this figure reaches 75%. Researchers found out that only 1% of users are ready to continue the same online consumption in case if all websites and apps require payment, while 88% would significantly change their online presence.

On the issue of advertising, the study has shown that “European online users are happy for their data to be used for targeted advertising in order to get access to free content supported by advertising”. 8 in 10 users would prefer to see advertising on free accessible sites instead of paying for ad-free resources.

Furthermore, people are more willing to have a transparent information on how their data is used. However, only 50% of respondents agree with the model of constant cookie data approval, while 67% prefer judging on a case-by-case basis with access to more information on browsing data use for advertising by user request.

In the context of the adoption of a new ePrivacy Regulation, EU policy makers are considering user’s consent as the silver bullet to protect their privacy. However, this study shows that consent is not always the best option from the point of view of the consumer. Additionally, this study show how important online content funded by digital advertising is for Europeans. Its decrease would directly impact people in their daily online activities.

The study was conducted by research agency GfK. It consisted of a 10-minutes survey instrument, which was filled by more than 11 000 participants. Citizens of eleven EU countries were chosen for the research, including UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Estonia.