Why we need a definition of content sales

PaymentOne’s new study concludes that security concerns are the main reason why consumers don’t buy more content online.

That seems a little weird to me: Not high prices, not the inconvenience of payment, but security.

But if you take a look at what content they’re buying online, 52% of it is advertising and another 9% is Internet services and communications. Only 12% of what they’re buying is news and information.

It seems to me that the value of classified ads and communications services are well established on the Net and that security (the principal bugaboo of all mainstream ecommerce) would be the main problem keeping consumers from buying them. But for news and information, the value proposition and ease of payment are much bigger issues.

Until we treat online news and information as a distinct market, most research into the “content market” will be useless to online publishers.

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