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Obvious: People Dont Want to Pay for Online News


Poll Details the Desires and Alternatives

Paid Content UK conducted a Poll with Harris Interactive, asking respondents how much they would pay for online news, and what they would do if they're favorite news sites started charging. The findings, perhaps not so shocking, indicate that users basically don't really want to pay.

Paid Content's Robert Andrews
says they've "learned that only five percent of regular news site users would pay if their favorite haunt started charging, and that readers would prefer to subscribe annually."

Even for annual subscriptions, users don't appear to be prepared to spend too much. As you can see from Paid Content's graph (below), the higher the price goes, the less the percentage of users who wish to pay it for an annual subscription.



So if they don't want to pay, or they want to pay very little, what would they do if their favorite site(s) began charging for content? Well, most would just go somewhere else for their content and find a new favorite site. According to the findings from the poll, as many as 74% would simply find an alternative free site. In addition, 8% would use the site's free headlines only, 12% are not sure what they would do, and only 5% would pay to continue reading.

You have to wonder if the big publishers out there considering a paid-subscription model are paying attention to this info. "If Rupert Murdoch thinks readers will pay to read his websites, maybe he should think again," says Andrews.

"Bitten by the low prices of online ads and the recent slowdown in advertising generally, News Corp is not alone in re-examining the financial viability of online news provision," he adds. "Other publishers, too, are considering models including charging-for-content, readers' clubs with value-added extras, selling physical merchandise and memorabilia and even reader donations."

The poll
goes on to look at more specific details about demographics such as age, class, and region, to see who is willing to pay for online






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