How much would you pay for Google Maps?

Or Facebook?

Or Twitter?

So many of the applications we use every day are free, but what if you had to pay a monthly subscription? How high would you go to retain access?

McGuffin, a Chicago-based brand, design and advertising agency, asked 2,000 people in an online survey how much they’d be willing to pay per month for a range of apps.

Although US-focused – the study doesn’t include any Chinese apps such as WeChat with its 1 billion+ daily users – it’s a useful insight into the value we place on services often taken for granted.

Top of the charts? YouTube at more than $4.20 a month.

Image: McGuffin

Interestingly, more people would be willing to pay for WhatsApp – but valued it at nearly $2 less a month than YouTube.

An economist explains

The study is part of a broader trend, as economists try to understand the value of digital goods and the internet.

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2019, the Forum spoke to Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and Professor at MIT Sloan School, about just this.

You can read an edited transcript here, or check out his interview on LinkedIn here.