Monday, March 15, 2010

Few willing to pay for online

According to Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, charging for online news means "significant consumer resistance."

That's the consensus of the project's annual journalism survey, which was released Sunday.

In this article Associated Press reporter David Bauder cites several depressing statistics - like the fact that only 19 percent of "online news consumers" are willing to pay for the content. Or that 82 percent will abandon their preferred web sites if that means getting their news for free.

What's not answered is where "news consumers" will go if newspaper outlets like the Associated Press go bankrupt and there is no content left.


Anonymous said...

Movies, books, television and music all have problems with sales losses due to online "theft" yet none of them on the scale of newspapers. Why not? Why is newspaper content so worthless?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that 90% of the content is available everywhere you turn. Newspapers are the only media industry to pursue a strategy of "give it all away" right from the get go.

But for all that, I'm still not convinced that paywalls will be a failure. If you can completely isolate your content, and a majority of the industry follows suit, it will just be a matter of reshaping public perception of our worth.

Will that happen? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

You used to not pay for TV now everyone pays for cable. But you need good original content but they threw the baby out with the bath-water.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that cable tv never gave their shows away for free. Now everyone is so accustomed to getting their news for nothing, that charging for content means upending the existing paradigm.

And worst of all, we have to rely on everyone to follow suit. If someone else is willing to give away their content on the grounds that "we'll make money later" then it drags everyone down.

Eventually, things are going to change. That much is inevitable. The question is how many media outlets will have to go out of business before it happens.