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We asked, you told us: What you'd pay for Google services

We asked for your thoughts on if you'd pay for Google Services, and if so, how much. A huge percentage said no, but the issues runs deeper: what if you could avoid having your personal data used for marketing and advertising?

Published onApril 28, 2018

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This week’s poll across our Youtube channel and here on the website asked you what you’d pay per month for a subscription to access Google services: Search, Maps, YouTube, Calendar, and all the rest.

Now, we know that sounds ridiculous given it’s free, but we asked ‘what if?’. What if we lived in a world where Google throttled down advertising, or gave us a new reality – no ads, and a monetized service for all its software with a subscription model? Any time you wanted to send an email with Gmail, navigate with Google Maps, or even watch YouTube video, you’d need to make sure your subscription is up to date.

Here’s the results of what more than 41,000 of you said in the YouTube poll, and more than 3,000 of you said via the website:

It’s an interesting result here. The majority aren’t interested in paying, that’s clear. The YouTubers are adamant that they’re not paying. 86 percent said a flat no. Just 10 percent said they’d pay $5 or less, and the other results aren’t worth mentioning – 4 percent split around paying more.

On the website poll, users looked a little more generous: A much lower 56 percent said they wouldn’t pay, 20 percent said they’d pay up to $5, while a healthy 13 percent said they’d pay as much as between $5 to $10, and 5 percent said $10-20.


Those that left comments to review on the poll were split between two major camps. The first said Google is using their data so there’s no way they’re going to pay. The other camp said they’d consider paying if the service didn’t use their data and they didn’t get ads – more privacy, more secure.

Google quietly made close to $100bn a year from their ads in 2017, of course:


Here’s a sample of the comments from both camps on the issue:

  • Why would I pay for someone who’s already collecting my information and selling them to other vendors… they’re already getting their money :)
  • I’m already giving them access to all kinds of information regarding my whereabouts and shopping habits and all the searches I am doing with my phone, I think that is payment enough. The only way I would consider paying is if I was guaranteed that no info or data would be collected for marketing or sales purposes and even then, I would have to think on it.
  • It depends. If they can guarantee that my personally identifiable information would not be used outside of any of the apps I use (for ads purposes or anyone else not explicitly authorized by me) I’ll consider paying.
  • Depends on the context and the type of service. For email? No because most ISPs provide some sort of email service. Searches? No. What about YouTube? I already do, YouTube Red. Music service? Already do (included with YouTube Red). Google Drive? Already do (to expand cloud storage).

Now, as mentioned above, Google already has some services that people pay for: YouTube Red, Google Play Music, Google Drive, and so on. A similar general service for business customers, who want to take advantage of the G Suite of tools for their business, is perhaps even more indicative.

Android Authority utilize the G Suite because of course we do! G Suite is charged out for businesses at three different pricing models, but it’s all on a per user base, going for $5, $10, or $25 per user, per month. That adds up, but it gives you an idea of what Google might be able to hawk their set of services for to private users.

Of course, it’s free now and there’s no indication this will change any time soon, as Google has a stranglehold via their generally free and excellent services.

Surprised by the results or to your expectation? And have you turned off or opted-out of Google personalization of ads?

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