Posted by: David | July 26, 2010

New Annenberg Digital Study: Free Wants to Stay Free

People who are getting stuff free online don’t want the model to change: They want free to stay free, and they don’t like ads. But they will take ads to keep content free.

Not a surprising conclusion, but wonderfully documented by the 10th annual study of the Internet on American lives from the Center for the Digital Future at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC. (They might want to consider shortening that to something like Annenberg Digital.)

In a nutshell:

The current study reveals a profile of American Internet users who go online more than ever, almost two-thirds who buy online, most households now using broadband, a majority of families own two or more computers, and large percentages of users saying that the Internet is important in political campaigns.

However, troubling issues emerge as well, with the study finding large percentages who express deep distrust in online information, surprising gaps in Internet use within some age groups. low percentages of users who said that the Internet gives them more political power, and continuing declines of users who that that online technology makes the world a better place.

Those last two findings — power to the people and kumbaya — were unreasonable expectations imposed upon a technology. It’s like expecting a better pizza if you order it over the phone. It’s not the phone’s fault that the pizza sucks. The blame lies elsewhere.

Overall, the study paints a picture of a technology (or set of technologies) that we are pulling into the mainstream of our lives.

The full report costs $500 for individual use and $1,500 for a corporate license, but an 18-page press release summarizes absolutely everything of importance.

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Responses

  1. This is just my two cents, but there will always be someone to pay a penny for your thoughts.


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