According to the Magex survey, more than two-thirds of respondents who haven't already downloaded digital content are interested in doing so within the next 12 months.
The main objection to paying is not the cost but the fear of online credit card fraud, according to respondents to the survey, which was conducted in New York, Los Angeles and the UK.
Consumers expect to pay an average of $US0.83 per sample, $US3.05 per single title and $US12.89 for a monthly subscription.
But 52 per cent of respondents who have not downloaded music in the past 12 months agreed that their purchasing has been limited because of fear of credit card fraud. When asked how valuable certain features are while purchasing music downloads from the Internet, the only feature identified as extremely valuable to a majority of respondents was payment security, according to the survey.
Even though payment security is a concern, respondents expressed more confidence in certain online institutions than in others.
UK respondents were more likely than their peers to rely on a leading banking institution to store their personal payment information (45 per cent in the UK compared with 31 per cent in New York and 28 per cent in Los Angeles).
Overall, 76 per cent of respondents are prepared to trust at least one institution on the Internet, the level of trust ranging from a credit card company (trusted by 60 per cent), a leading banking institution (35 per cent), an Internet security company (25 per cent), an Internet service provider (24 per cent) and Internet merchants (10 per cent).
Although users may expect music downloads to be regulated soon, they are quite happy to download copyrighted material for free, with 53 per cent of US Internet users saying that what they are doing is not stealing, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project released last week.