Cozying Up to Murdoch and Then Leaving Him Cold

This week saw the emergence of two conflicting stories about how willing news consumers are to pay for news.  Boston Consulting Group, in a tale that should warm Rupert Murdoch’s heart, found that close to half of US citizens would pay for online news.   Still, his heart might freeze up a little when he finds that people in the US (and Australia – HA!) would only be willing to pay $3 a month to get it – as opposed to Italians, who really value their news, and would be willing to pay $7 a month for it. As we have repeatedly said here, there are so many sources for news that anyone who is unwilling to pay will surely find another way to get it. Paradoxically, says the New York Times,  in every country, the people who were willing to pay the most for news online were the people who already pay the most for news: avid newspaper readers. And anyway, says Forrester research, not so fast.  The number of people who are willing to pay for news isn’t 48% as Boston Consulting says, it’s more like 20%. And only 3$ would be willing to offer micropayments for desired articles.

 Then again, says the NPD group (via MediaMemo), we already do pay for content, or at least we pay for data, even if it isn’t necessarily news that we’re paying for.  81% of us pay for cable or satellite, 9% of us have a mobile data account, and 76% pay for some kind of Internet provider. And that’s why cable/wireless/isp providers are going to end up being the key to everything.  Although, points out Peter Kafka in Media Memo, that didn’t work so well for music, did it?

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