Demand for digital news is expected to continue to increase. Reuters report that the younger generation of today are keener to invest in digital news subscriptions.
A recent internet study done by Reuters, reported by UK’s Guardian, found that the younger generation is more willing to pay for digital news than their older counterparts. The survey found that the 11,000 people aged 25 to 34 across nine countries are more likely to spend money on getting news online. The significant shift in terms of paying for digital news will definitely make the newspaper industry quite happy because it is a ray of light to the dwindling industry.
Older generations, unlike those in the age range of 18 to 34, are used to getting their news through the paper and by watching television instead of reading the news on their computers or their iPads. While some older folks who are 55 and above, say that they are willing to pay for digital news just as they would from a newsstand.
The growth of online news readers paying for the digital news may be deemed as a minor victory because there are a number of news channels on television that deliver the news for free. Although one would have to pay for a cable subscription, at least there is no need to pay for another subscription i.e. your digital news subscription.
While the study confirms that more people are now paying for digital news, it also reaffirms the popular belief that majority of readers are not and are most likely never going to pay for such a service in the future. The Oxford University based Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism also notes that France has the highest number of online users who pay for digital news. France is followed by the United States and then Germany and Denmark.
Newspapers and news agencies are fighting to get more revenue especially now that billions of people go online to read the news. While paywalls are a good solution to the revenue problem, Reuters reiterates that it is not a blanket solution. Reuters admits that paywalls will not fill the gap that has been lost in the past decade due to the decline in revenue coming from print advertising –the main bread and butter for the news industry.
Another interesting factor that the news industry now has to contend with is that a number of those who read the news online rarely care where they are reading their news from. If one does not even remember which website they went to read on a particular topic then paywalls will definitely not work.
In the US, some newspapers keep up by putting coupons on the paper. These coupons are quite useful for many folks on a budget and at an average of $1.50 for the paper, getting hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons with that $1.50 is a bargain. While this strategy works on print, it may not work online, according to experts.
Business strategists have kept saying that the news industry should change its business model. Instead of dictating prices like they used to since in the past publishers were king, they should now keep in mind that the reader is king.
Inspired by this article on UK’s The Guardian: