What the Publishers Think About Paid Content

It’s getting to be a given that  paying for online newspaper content is the way to go, and a recent survey of publishers found that over half of them believe that they will be able to charge successfully.  However, almost half of them have no actual timetable for making the change to a paid content platform.  Interestingly, while most of them thought that readers who objected to getting their news online for a fee would have a hard time replacing the information they would get if they paid, readers don’t think so.  52% of them think that it would be at least somewhat easy to get the news some other way, for nothing. The big question for publishers is what kind of pay platform to use. Here are the numbers:

  • 8% say they will limit full access to stories to monthly subscribers
  • 28% say they will likely offer monthly subscriptions as well as micropayments for individual articles
  • 15% expect to offer monthly subscriptions, micropayments, and “day passes”
  • 19% expect news articles to remain free but that they will produce content specifically for the website which would be behind a pay wall
  • 9% say they may adopt a system which would make visitors pay separately for each story they want to read.

Additionally, while 65% of publishers said they hoped content sales would develop a stream of revenues from new products, an even larger number – 71% – said their objective is “preserving print circulation.”




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