News & developments in the digital world

75% of Europeans want to keep targeted advertising on the Internet to avoid paying for services

Europeans are not prepared to pay for access to content and services on the Internet.

IAB Europe has just published the results of its survey "What would the Internet look like without targeted advertising? ". People were asked about different models for monetising content on the Internet and whether they would prefer :

  • paid sites or sites monetised by advertising,
  • targeted or untargeted advertisements.

No more than three subscriptions

Several interesting figures emerge from this study :

  • In the absence of monetisation through advertising, a majority of Europeans would be willing to pay less than ? 4 per month for most of the web services they currently use.
  • 49% of respondents are willing to subscribe to more than three web services.
  • Streaming music and email solutions are the only services where more than 50% of Europeans are willing to subscribe.
  • A third of Europeans would be willing to pay for a weather forecasting service (32%), financial content (31%), news (28%) or sport (26%).

Less online activity if services are subscription-based

The digital landscape would be completely changed if the business model of the Internet was changed. Users would reduce their use to a handful of services. Online activity would be drastically reduced: 48% of respondents would go online considerably less if content was paid for.

Online advertising has a long way to go. Users do not like this forced exchange of advertising for content or service. But 75% of them believe that advertising is sometimes useful to discover new products. Furthermore, 85% of respondents want to retain the freedom to choose the usage and browsing experience they want. Thus, 75% of Europeans prefer the current version of the Internet with mainly free content and targeted advertising.

To carry out this study, 400 adults from 6 European countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Poland) were interviewed, with a fair distribution of gender and nationality.