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What are consumers willing to pay for?

The Future Foundation has carried out extensive research on consumers' attitudes to pricing and payment models. We focus on answering the question "what are consumers willing to pay for?"

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•    The Future Foundation has observed a marked consumer resistance to paying full price for media content. Many have become accustomed to accessing so much newspaper, music and television content free of charge - either legally or illegally - that they cannot currently conceive of the situation reversing.

•    Our research shows that as many as 52% of Britons aged 16 to 24 expect to be able to download music and films free of charge from the internet and only 6% of the total population would be prepared to pay £5 a month to subscribe to their favourite newspaper online or through their mobile phone.

•    If the current debate around payment finally crystallises and paywalls become common practice for certain media content, consumer attitudes will evolve accordingly. Based on further research that we have carried out, we would anticipate expectations of free material to naturally become more subdued.


•    This expectation of free access does not necessarily extend to other sectors. Price as a whole has become regarded as a more flexible and negotiable concept, but many consumers remain happy to pay a premium for the products they really want and that are considered special or unique enough. 15 to 24 year olds are the most inclined to pay a premium for goods across all the product categories we surveyed, from cars to ready meals.


•    Consumers are also proving receptive to flexible, incidental pricing strategies where they can opt in or out of additional features in a transparent way, as seen in the airline industry. They enjoy the choice, control and freedom it affords them. Almost 2/3rds of British consumers claim to prefer products to be priced in a way that allows me to choose to add additional features.


•    Although this sentiment does not appear to extend to the financial services sector for now, where there is still an in-built expectation that advice-based services should be available at no extra cost.

 

I expect to be able to download music and films free of charge from the internet
% who agree or agree strongly, by gender, age and social grade
View Graph *

 

I would be prepared to pay £5 a month to subscribe to my favourite newspaper online / through my mobile phone
% who agree or agree strongly, by gender, age and social grade
View Graph *

 

Paying a premium when buying certain things
% who would, by gender, age, social grade and life stage
Would you ever pay significantly more to have a luxury product when making any of the following purchases?
View Graph *


I prefer products to be priced in a way that allows me to choose to add additional features…...(e.g. airline features where it costs extra to check in luggage, have priority boarding, add travel insurance)
% who would, by gender, age and social grade
View Graph +

 

Unwillingness to pay more for certain 'additional services' : We expect advice related to financial services to be provided free of charge.
View Graph * 


* Source: Future Foundation Research | Base: 2,000 online respondents aged 16+, GB, 2009

+ Source: Monitise/Future Foundation Research | Base 1,000 respondents aged 18+, UK, 2009

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About Future Foundation

The Future Foundation helps companies to make better decisions. Decisions which ultimately drive shareholder value.

We view the world through a consumer lens and enable our clients to plan the future with their customers at the epicentre.

Visit our website to find out more.

In association with Future Foundation

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