Would You Pay for Online News?

Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Business News [ 0 Comments ]

More and more people are going to the Internet for their daily dose of news.  With RSS feeds, you can subscribe to your favorite news site or blog and get updates to news stories when they are updated.  But are people willing to pay for these sites?  According to a new Pew report the answer is no.

The first statistic is shocking in the fact that they found only 35% of online consumers in the U.S. have a favorite news website.  Going further in depth, 82% of that group said they would go to another site if their current favored news site started to charge for their content.

On the flip side of this argument, Rupert Murdoch has implemented a paywall on the Wall Street Journal’s website for some time. More recently added it to the editorial content, which used to be available for free. “Mr. Murdoch claims that placing that content behind the pay wall has actually increased circulation for the online edition.  Mr. Murdoch also comments on the notion that only specialized, or niche, content can attract a paying audience,” reports Ravi Nagarajan.

Rich Adin, editor and owner of Free Lance Editorial Services, agrees with Murdoch saying, “I’m inclined to think that Rupert is right. I’m not sure that the New York Post is worthy of being behind a paywall, but I have no doubt about the worthiness of, for example, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, The Economist, and the New York Times — that is newspapers with high credibility and well-deserved reputations as news originators.”

It seems that people who read certain newspapers online such as the Wall Street Journal are going to go the extra mile and pay for services, but many others are not willing to do so.  Only time can tell if paywalls become a norm in the online world of news, and there are good arguments on both sides of the fence.

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