Study: SG men more willing to exchange personal data for free content

While personal data and privacy concerns have become a growing concern, one in six (16%) Singaporeans agree that they are willing to give up their personal data for free content. Men are twice as willing compared to women (21% vs. 11%). Over half (55%) are unwilling and a quarter (25%) are undecided, said a recent report by YouGov, titled "International media consumption report 2021: Is there a new normal?" that interviewed over 18,000 respondents across 17 global markets.

The data also shows that attitude towards exchanging personal data for free content is generational.

While over two in ten Gen Z-ers (21%) and Millennials (22%) are happy to give away their data, this drops to about one in ten amongst Baby Boomers (12%) and the Silent Generation (8%).

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The research finds that while some are happy to give up personal data for free content, some prefer to pay for uninterrupted entertainment services, with one in five (20%) Singaporeans preferring to pay for ad-free content. Singaporean males are more likely to do so than women (24% vs. 16%). Two in five (40%) prefer not to pay for ad-free content, and over a third (37%) are on the fence.

Again, willingness for paying to be free of ads depends much on generation. Millennials are the most willing (35%), while Baby Boomers (21%) are the least willing.

As a whole, more than half (55%) agree that it is fair to watch ads in exchange for free content. One in ten (12%) disagree and the jury is still out for a third (33%) of the population.

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Paid subscription

The most accessed paid subscription service amongst Singaporeans is for films, movies or TV, with two in five (43%) having access to a paid subscription. This is followed by digital, cable or satellite TV (30%) and music (25%).

Millennials are the most likely to have paid access to films, movie or TV subscription (51%), and Gen Z-ers are the most likely to have paid access to music, with over half (55%) saying they do. While Baby Boomers lag behind in paid access to media subscriptions as a whole, there is one channel that has gained favour – digital, cable or satellite TV service (35%).

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Julian Newby, sector head of media at YouGov, said: “With most of the world spending the past year at home under lockdown, we looked at attitudes towards paid content amongst Singaporeans, and found out how this differs from generation to generation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the TikTok generation (Gen Z-ers) are happy to give away personal data for free content, while the older generation remain more hesitant. There is also a generational gap in terms of paid media channels, with Baby Boomers dominating satellite TV and millennials for films and movies. Whatever channel it is, we hope that this data will useful for those in an increasingly competitive media landscape in making better decision for ad spend in the coming year.”

Globally, when asked about the kinds of traditional media consumers have used, live TV still dominates other formats. Across most of the 17 markets, over half of respondents consumed it – with the only exceptions being the UAE, Singapore, and China. Meanwhile, live radio is now the second most commonly consumed traditional media format. Print sits in the middle of the international pack and is particularly popular in India.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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