Online news easier to sell - study

2013-06-20 13:01


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Cape Town – Consumers are becoming more willing to pay for online news, although most still choose not to, a study suggests.

The BBC reported that the percentage of UK-based web users who read paid-for content had more than doubled to 9% during the past 10 months, it said.

Gains were also seen in the US, France and Germany, although Denmark bucked the trend. Those aged 25 to 34 appeared most prepared to pay, and men were more willing than women, the study suggests.

Valued analysis

The researchers said that in the US, ownership of a tablet or smartphone appeared to encourage payments – particularly if the devices were made by Apple.

However, they cautioned that the effect was less pronounced in the UK – possibly because so many news apps in the country were offered for free – and that some types of publication found it easier than others.

"The data indicate, on average, 10% of people have paid for news in some digital form – about one-third higher than last year," said Professor Robert Picard, director of research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which carried out the study.

"Public-affairs magazines are finding it easier to get the public to pay than newspapers, especially on tablets, because digital payments for magazines are becoming the norm and they offer news analysis and commentary in ways general news sources do not"

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