Subscription To Fee-Based Online Services: What Makes Consumer Pay For Online Content?


Cheng Lu Wang
Yue Zhang
Li Richard Ye
Dat-Dao Nguyen


Increasingly, Web-based content or service sites are turning to a subscription-based business model. This article examines factors that influence potential consumers’ opinions about such paid services. A survey was conducted to examine the impact of several factors on consumers’ willingness to access subscription-based Web content. The results indicated that respondents’ intentions are significantly influenced by these factors. Specifically, their willingness to pay for online content or services is positively related to their perception of convenience, essentiality, added-value, and service quality, and to their usage rate of a given service. In addition, their willingness to pay is negatively related to their perceived unfairness in a subscription-based online service model. Managerial implications based on our findings are discussed.

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November, 2005

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