Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 23 Number 2 2006 pp. 203-231

Consumer Perceptions and Willingness to Pay for Intrinsically Motivated Online Content

Lopes, Alexandre B and Galletta, Dennis F

ABSTRACT: Providing profitable online content has been an elusive goal, challenging many companies such as the New York Times, Disney/ABC/ESPN, and Microsoft/Slate. Charging for content has been hit-or-miss, attributable to a lack of generally applicable models of information value. Previous studies in the management information systems literature emphasized extrinsically motivated content (addressing tangible gains), while many sites target intrinsic goals such as entertainment or education. This study examines potential factors influencing willingness to pay for intrinsically motivated online content. Data from 392 college students indicate that even when analyzing content whose potential rewards are intangible and nonquantifiable, potential consumers focus on "expected benefits" as the main antecedent for willingness to pay. Other antecedents, such as perceived quality and provider reputation, only affected willingness to pay indirectly through expected benefits. Researchers are offered a baseline model for future study, and practitioners are advised to provide initial visitors a clear message about benefits of use to entice them to pay for content.

Key words and phrases: consumer assessment, electronic commerce, information value, online content, service quality, service value