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Newspaper Publishers Divided Over Paid Content

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So the big guys like Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller have already told us that paid content for newspapers is the wave of the future. Of course, when these two titans of the media world say jump the rest of us mere mortals are supposed to enthusiastically yell “How high?!” While, these guys have been right more often than not the rest of their industry peers aren’t so sure about paid content being the best things since colored ink for the newspaper industry.

The Center for Media Research is reporting

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

So half of the these folks say they believe it can happen which is not quite the same as saying that it is definitely the way to go and that the industry will be saved. The following bit if data from the survey shows just how out of touch this group may be over all though.

68% 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% said they thought it would be either very easy or somewhat easy for readers to find replacement content.

Hard to find information elsewhere? We’re talking about the Internet, right? There are always options.

There’s more in the details and, of course, it’s more fun to talk tough than to be tough.

  • 58% of publishers said they are considering charging for content
  • 49% said they have no timetable in mind for how that will play out

Right now we are in the all talk phase of this next generation of newspapers and everyone can sound ready to go but who will be the first to really make the move and step out as the guinea pig? That is the online equivalent of ‘breaking through to the other side’ or ‘walking the plank’. There will be no halfway reactions on this subject, so who will have the stones to be the poster child for paid content? Any thoughts?

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Newspaper Publishers Divided Over Paid Content
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