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Paying for content not foreign to most

The Web may seem like the land of something for nothing. Free video. Free news. Even free tools such as word processing and spreadsheets.

But almost two-thirds of adult Internet users in the United States have paid for access to at least one of these intangible items online, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Whether people will pay for different types of material on the Web is among the most pressing questions facing media companies.

The new figures from Pew suggest paying for content online is at least not a completely foreign idea for most people.

About a third of respondents said they have paid for digital music. Same for software.

Behind that came mobile apps for cell phones or tablet computers at 21 percent. Then digital games at 19 percent and newspaper, magazine or journal articles at 18 percent.

The survey found that among people who paid for content, the typical user spent about $10 a month.

However, there are some extremely high-end users, such that the average among those who have paid for content is about $47 a month. That includes subscriptions and individual files downloaded or accessed.

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