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Wed 24 Mar 2010 01:13 PM

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88% of UAE consumers want the web to remain free

While 66% say quality must improve significantly before they will pay.

Eighty eight percent of UAE consumers want online content to remain free of charge, the latest survey has found.

A further 66 percent of respondents to the Nielsen survey said the quality of online information had to improve significantly before they would be willing to pay for it.

The global survey of some 27,000 people in 54 countries found that UAE consumers were more willing than those in other markets to buy professionally produced content online.

This pattern was repeated across the Middle East, with 85 percent of Saudis saying content should remain free, and 51 percent saying quality had to improve before providers could charge for it.

Across the region people were least willing to pay for blogs (14 percent), followed by radio news (17 percent) and radio music (18 percent).

Books proved to be the most popular items, with 56 percent of respondents saying they were prepared to purchase them over the web. Professionally produced video, including television, also scored highly (47 percent) and movies (46 percent), the survey found.

Sevil Ermin, Managing Director of Nielsen, UAE, said: “Compared to many of their peers around the world, UAE consumers are more willing to buy professionally produced online content. But content that has been generated by fellow users, such as blogs and video, has far less appeal.

“Consumers appear to be stressing value and convenience in their attitudes towards commercial transactions online, and preferences are still quite fragmented. Online content providers clearly need to focus on offering more choice than less in their pursuit of internet users willing to pay for their services,” he said.

Online content consumers will pay for

Books 56 percent Professional video 47 percent Movies 46 percent Magazines 40 percent Games 39 percent Music 38 percent Newspapers 31 percent Internet-only news 28 percent Social communities 27 percent Podcasts 26 percent Consumer-generated video 21 percent Radio (music) 18 percent Radio (news/talk) 17 percent Blogs 14 percent

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

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Telco guy 10 years ago

are you guys for real? Of course when you ask people if they prefer something for free or paying for it they will say "Free". The most amazing thins is how people who should know better quote theses type of polls when justifying their decisions.