The Boston Consulting Group has conducted research on online media among nearly 7,000 European consumers. The European consumers value online media at €1,077 per year over and above what they pay for it, or approximately half the €2,078 online and offline total for each connected consumer. The online net value, or “consumer surplus,” ranged from €792 to €1,557. European consumers derive the biggest online surplus from user-generated content and social networks, but traditional media categories are catching up fast.
“Based on the richness of the media content available across Europe, we expected to find a large consumer surplus,” said Paul Zwillenberg, coauthor of this report. “But what’s notable, given the relative youth of the Internet, is that the surplus from online media has surpassed, or nearly caught up with that of offline media in every country surveyed. Economic value is following media online. ”
The researchers stated that the majority of the Europeans studied believe that they have access to higher-quality online content than they did three years ago. Furthermore, most Europeans also expect continued improvements in online media. Also, Europeans tend to be more excited about the benefits of the Internet than concerned about the risks.
Based on this research, Zwillenberg believes that the key factors are in place to accelerate online consumption across Europe, as demonstrated by rising device ownership. Zwillenberg continued: “The ownership of mobile devices with online functions has played an important role; consumers who use more than three devices enjoy higher online media consumer surpluses than those with fewer devices. Three years ago, the average European owned 1.4 devices. Today he or she has 2.6 devices and it is expected that this will rise to 4 devices in three years.”
Another key factor for the increasing online consumption is fast mobile broadband. This facilitates the availability of more high-quality digital content.