For the first time the take-up of free internet services among new
PC buyers has exceeded that of paid subscriptions, according to figures
released by market analyst, Inteco.
The new research suggests that around 25% of recent PC buyers are opting
for free ISPs - higher than the combined total for paid internet and
online service subscriptions, which each account for 11% of the market.
The data also suggests that Freeserve has overtaken AOL as the most
popular ISP among recent buyers, with 36% share of all service providers
mentioned, compared with 19% for AOL. The total number of recent PC
buyers who are online rose from 48% at the end of last year to 53% in
The figures come just over a week since The Sun launched its free
internet service, Currant Bun.com. It is believed that around 30,000
people had registered for Currant Bun.com on its first day, after the
paper launched the service with a 12-page promotion. News International
said the campaign targeted ’the biggest number of internet users ever
reached in one hit’.
Ellis Watson, marketing director of The Sun, said the service will be
backed up by ’extensive off-paper marketing’, but declined to reveal
Adam Daum, principal consultant at Inteco, said: ’Until now even free
services have not convinced people to buy PCs. The big question is
whether The Sun has the power to bring new people into the PC market. I
think the internet will be a more difficult sell than satellite TV.’