Twenty nine percent of Indians polled have already paid for books (note: not e-books) online, 19 percent have paid for online magazines, and 18 percent have paid for music, a survey conducted by The Nielsen Company has suggested. The survey was across 54 countries, and 27,000 consumers, designed to examine consumer attitudes to paying for online content – with mobile these numbers would have been quite different.

Fifty percent of the Indian consumers polled said they would pay for books in the future too, closely followed by magazines and music (both at 47%). And of course, soap-opera fans (46%) were willing to pay for professionally produced videos such as current television shows. Others voted for theatrical movies (45%) and games (44%).

Nikhil adds: A caveat. Please keep in mind that Nielsen hasn’t disclosed the sample size for India, or the sampling methodology, both of which significantly impact survey results; hence don’t take these results as being indicative of a census. How many of you believe that 46% of any user base (leave alone Indians) will pay for TV shows online? Dream on.

Demand For Better Quality

Three fourth of the Indians surveyed by Nielsen are willing to pay for the content if the quality is significantly better than what is currently free online.


More than six out of ten (66%) Indians surveyed actually want more online advertisements while surfing, if it can help reduce the the cost of the content offered.

User Generated Content

While blogs, social communities and consumer generated videos (those put up on Youtube, etc) are not worth paying for, the majority of consumers in India feel.  Online news broadcasts/radio and podcasts are all but dead to us Indians too: 66 percent of Indians are not willing to pay for news/talk radio and 60 percent do not want to pay for podcasts.

Download the report here.

(Updates: Included a caveat regarding the reliability of surveys – Nikhil Pahwa)