Study: Music tops Euro paid digital content

Suggests more needs to be done in offering new services

LONDON -- A new report by Forrester Research has found that music is leading the way in paid digital content across Europe.

The report "Who Will Pay For Online Content?," by Nick Thomas with Mark Mulligan and Erik Hood, found that 14% of European Internet users surveyed have paid to access music online. But while 25% said they intended to pay for music online in the future, the report suggested more needs to be done in terms of offering new services.

"Music is the most advanced market but still far from maturity," the report said. "While the proportion of European Internet users who claim to have paid to access music online - 14% - is relatively high, the sector is a long way from reaching its potential. Just one-quarter of European Internet users say they would pay for online music in the future, suggesting that the current portfolio of music services fails to meet their needs."

Although the study showed that 58% of those surveyed would not pay for digital content online, the Forrester Research report suggested this narrow majority still offers some hope.

"Free content may still dominate the Web, but as more services are launched that actually meet users' needs, we can start to map a future for paid content, too," the report stated.

Only 8% of Internet users have paid to access movies online, while the figure for eBooks is 4%.

The data was based on European Technographics' Media, Marketing, And Social Computing Online Survey of 14,356 people aged 12 and above from Q3 2009.