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Publishers Divided on Ability to Monetise Content

29 Sep 2009

According to a survey reported in Media Buyer/Planner, more than half of newspaper publishers believe readers will pay to access online newspaper content. 51 per cent of publishers say they believe they can successfully charge for content, while 49 per cent either aren't sure or believe paying for content will not work.


However, Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, has stated "While 68 per cent of the publishers responding to the survey said they thought readers who objected to paying for content would have a difficult time replacing the information they get from newspaper websites, 52 per cent of polled readers said it would be either "very easy" or "somewhat easy" to do so... "


The survey, which was conducted for the latest in the series of industry conferences this year studying how to monetise the valuable content most newspapers give away for free, shows that publishers who are worried about charging for content have good reason to be concerned.


68 per cent of publishers said they thought that, even if readers object to paying for content, they would have a difficult time finding that information in other places, while 52 per cent said they thought it would be either very easy or somewhat easy for readers to find replacement content.


More data from the study includes:


  • 58 per cent of publishers said they are considering charging for content
  • 49 per cent said they have no timetable in mind for how that will play out
  • 12 per cent said they plan to charge for content by the end of the year
  • 18 per cent said they will do so in the first quarter of 2010
  • 10 per cent said they would begin charging by the beginning of next summer
  • 10 per cent currently charge for some portion of the web content


According to the study:


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



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