5 reasons why people pay for content that is actually free

Mar 1, 2022 | Articles

Andrea Burgueño

Andrea Burgueño


It is not hard to find anything on the Internet. Whatever we want, from news to entertainment, everything is there, in that vast digital space. Available to anyone. Except, maybe for premium or exclusive content. In that case, it is pretty clear why people pay for that. But otherwise why would people pay for content they can actually get for free? That’s a pretty interesting question we will try to shed some light on.

For starters, there are some things, apart from the content itself, that users can only get by paying for them. That’d be actually the main reason why. But what would be these things? Let’s take a look.

Advertising free content

Some people assume that watching ads is a pretty low cost to pay in exchange for great content. Some others prefer to pay a monthly fee in order to read their articles or watch their videos without any kind of interruption. However, most consumers would still watch ads rather than paying for content. This is true even for streaming services.

Trustworthy information

With fake news becoming more frequent, people want to know that they are accessing trustworthy sources of information.

Also, prior to the pandemic it was common for most users to only read what they wanted to read, ignoring information that may have not been in line with their ideas. News was somehow treated and perceived as entertainment to a certain extent.

However, the pandemic reminded us of the value of information. Being informed could save your life. So, trust became more important than ever.

Quality content

People pay for content because it enhances their trust in its quality. That explains why news corporations aligned with values such as objectivity and reliability are the ones with the highest number of subscribers. Also, media that offer complete information regarding a topic generate a higher sense of trust amongst consumers.


Accessing a reliable source of information or the entertainment that we are exactly looking for takes less time than researching, comparing, and filtering content in a sea of articles, videos, etc.


People are willing to pay for content they can access any time of the day with no effort at all. That’s why streaming services are so popular now. However, this does not only apply to movies or music, but also to news, podcasts, and videos.

Though, profiting from aspects that are only available if we pay for them is not the only reason why some people are keen to pay for content they could find for free. The truth is that subscriptions are actually cost-effective. Reducing risks and making sure to avoid privacy concerns are well worth a small subscription fee. Also, paying for content often means supporting media and creators we like, as well as becoming part of a small community.

Why do people pay for streaming services?

Streaming services provide accessibility to content that’s been gathered in the same place, making it convenient for users to subscribe to and use them. They also allow users to support their favorite creators.

Why are people willing to pay for free content?

There are several reasons: users are looking for quality content and trustworthy information so by paying their favorite media sources for free content allow them to support them and save time to look for the info.

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