7 Reasons People Pay for Content When They Can Get It for Free

The internet is a vast ocean of information and content that is mostly free - so why do people pay for it?
7 Reasons People Pay for Content When They Can Get It for Free

The internet is exploding with seemingly endless amounts of content, all available to view at the click of a button.

Lessons, information, entertainment —-nearly everything can be accessed immediately, and in most cases, for free as well.

As a content creator looking to monetize your videos, it can seem daunting to try and charge a price for your content when so many other things are free on the internet.

But don’t fear.

People already are willing to pay for content

Time and time again, studies have shown that people will pay for more premium quality and content.

Especially to support the people and brands they love.

Platforms such as Streampal make it effortlessly easy to publish and monetize your videos.

There are a lot of reasons why your audience is willing to pay for content.

American Press Institute

1. Convenience is King

In nearly every industry, people will pay more for convenience.

Think about a grocery story versus a fast food restaurant. In both cases, you can still get a meal to eat. While buying groceries from a super market and cooking the food yourself might be cheaper overall, it can take a lot of time and planning —and sometimes, the results can be a bit mediocre.

At a fast food or grab-and-go type restaurant, the cost might be a little higher than preparing the meal on your own, but the food is served fast and the quality is (normally) set to a standard.

The same is true for internet content.

It might be less expensive to search through all of the free content to find something worth watching, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

Comparatively, if a customer wants to pay for content, they can conveniently access high-quality videos about topics they enjoy.

If a customer tries to search for content on their own, they have to consider:

  • what is their ability level?
  • how much time can they commit?
  • does this content have content that expands upon the current topic?
  • is this content trust-worthy?
  • is it really worth my time to watch this?

It takes a lot of trial and error for viewers to search through all of the free content to find exactly what they want to see.

By subscribing to a content creator and choosing to pay for content, viewers can avoid all of this trouble and get instant access to what they’re searching for.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Premium Content is Cost Effective

In life, there’s nothing more valuable than your own time.

So don’t waste any of your precious free time away from work or studies by digging through the overwhelming amount of content available on the internet —especially when a lot of that content lacks substance and professionalism.

Instead, it’s far more cost effective for viewers to pay a small subscription fee to access premium content.This is especially true for eLearning courses, where the lessons presented online can be far cheaper than in-person lessons —and much more accessible as well!

If customers compare the price of access to the amount of content they receive, it becomes clear that the choice to pay for content is a great investment. Most subscription costs range from between $5 to $20 and offer countless hours of video access.

For the price of around one to four coffees, people can access high-quality material without any risk!

While free content seem appealing, it can have other hidden costs. This cost can take the form of numerous pop-up ads, non-stop commercials, or invasive third-parties attempting to steal personal data.

Not fun.

At the end of the day, it’s far simpler —and more cost effective— to pay for content —which is exactly why so many people already choose to do so!

3. Quality is Guaranteed

With free content, there is no guarantee regarding the quality of the material. When customers pay for content, they can rest assured knowing that the videos they subscribe to are only of the highest quality.

A study found that nearly 4 out of 10 adults under the age of 35 are willing to pay for content regarding daily news.

That’s because people value high-quality content —especially for news, education, and entertainment.

Imagine if somebody wants to learn how to cook.

There are countless free videos available online on platforms such as YouTube. However, many of these videos are posted by hobbyists, not professionals, and there is no standard of quality among the videos.

It can also be difficult for viewers to progress their studies through free videos. They might be able to find one worthwhile instructional video —for example, about how to whisk— but not be able to discover one explaining the next step of the process.

With online courses including paid content, customers can know exactly the lessons they will receive, the goals they can achieve, and the quality of the instructions as well.

Streampal makes it simple to build your own professional streaming platform. With a range of customization options, marketing support, and pricing plans, it’s easy for content creators to transition away from other platforms such as YouTube.

Don’t waste a single second —get started on creating your own high-quality subscription based platform today!

4. Free Content Has Low Value

Usually, if somebody is giving away something for free, there’s a reason for it.

Think of the free samples that a marketer might pass out on the street —a vinyl backpack, a plastic frisbee, maybe a cup with the company’s logo marked on the side. They’re all items that are easily forgotten by the user and contain almost no value.

Compared to purchasing a high-quality object at a store or directly from a company, the difference is clearly visible.

The same is true of content available on the internet. Oftentimes, the free content is far less reliable than subscription based content.

But that’s not all…

People who pay for content are far more likely to get more value from their access than compared to those who do not pay.

This phenomena can be explained by the sunk cost fallacy.

Essentially, people are more willing to put effort or time into something if they have already invested money into it.

Therefore, if people pay for content, they’re more motivated to get the best use of i—making paid content a perfect scenario for both customers and creators alike!

5. Support Beloved Communities and Creators

Human beings love connecting with each other.

Guided by natural instincts, people quickly form groups with other like-minded individuals —and while this may seem like some sort of outdated caveman behavior— it is a trait that continues even in our modern age.

People like belonging.

In our modern society, people slot themselves into communities and groups based upon a variety of factors —age, gender, location, and even hobbies and interests.

Already, there are countless successful platforms online where fans happily monetarily support their favorite creators, such as Patreon or Twitch. On these servers, viewers can feel more welcomed due to the tight-knit community created and are more willing to contribute financially.

By setting a price for membership, creators can profit from customer’s interest in being part of a larger group and create a deeper connection with their fans.

Still wondering if it’s worth it to ask viewers to pay for content? Don’t be!

After all, a monthly fee is a small price for consumers to pay for a sense of belonging and access to a supportive community.

6. Ad-Free Experience

Ask anyone —ads are the most annoying aspect of watching content.

They interrupt key moments of the material, stop the flow of learning, and create a buffer at the start of the video that can discourage you from even continuing to watch the video.

Whatever content you’re watching, there’s nothing worse than an immediate stop to the fun —followed by a voice attempting to convince you to buy insurance or new technology or a range of anything in between.

Viewers all across the globe already pay for premium access to the ad-free versions of their favorite platforms, such as Spotify Premium or Youtube Plus —proving the popularity of paying for content!

In fact, in the case of Spotify Premium, paid subscribers increased by 32% every year.

The Verge

For many viewers, free content may seem appealing, but not at the cost of non-stop ad interruptions.

The exact percentage of people who are willing to pay for content varies by income level —but on average, data proves just how ready global customers are to splurge for a truly ad-free experience.

By using a streaming platform such as Streampal, content creators can easily create subscription-based payment methods that cut ads but bring in revenue. Learn more here!

7. Cut Down on Content Overload

There’s already a lot of content available on the internet. Wading through all of those videos and links and web[ages and materials —(and whatever else there is to see)— can be time consuming and overwhelming.

Having access to too much material can drive people into overload. That’s because there’s a nearly infinite amount of content and a very, very finite amount of time to view it all.

Instead, it’s easier to relax and take ease in knowing where to access high-quality content.

However, if you’re still questioning whether or not viewers will really pay just to cut down on content overload, fear not —the precedent to pay for content has already been set.

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that at least 65% of internet users have paid for content before. Among the people who were willing to pay for content, many of them were paying for multiple types of online content.

That means that convincing viewers to pay for content —or more specifically, your content— is easier than it seems. And that’s simply because customers are already more than happy to pay for premium online content.

Just make sure you have an attractive platform and a well-thought out pricing plan for your content! If you’re not sure how to decide on a transactional model, you can read some tips and tricks here.


So, put your worries to rest —there are countless reasons why people are more than happy to pay for content online —even if there is other material available for free!

With that in mind, it’s time to start earning money off of your content.

If you’re looking for a platform that can help you monetize your content, Streampal is the place for you!

With Streampal, you can easily build a video streaming site that makes it easy for viewers to pay for content. With pricing plans that range from the bare essentials to all-inclusive services, it’s easy for any media entrepreneur to sell their content.  

For those that already publish their content uploaded on big media platforms such as YouTube or TikTok —for free— it’s time to make the switch to a platform that gives you complete creative control and puts your brand first!

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