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Pay for online news? No way

A large majority of Americans are unwilling to pay anything at all for online content from daily newspapers.

By MSN Money Partner May 3, 2011 7:01PM

This post comes from partner site


Newspapers and other traditional media outlets have spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to charge their online readers, who are often getting a free ride when they read news online.


But the latest Adweek/Harris poll shows that a large majority of Americans -- 80% -- say they are willing to pay exactly "nothing" to read a daily newspaper online.


Some would pay, but not very much: 14% said they would pay between $1 and $10 per month, while very few said they would be willing to pay between $11 and $20 (4%) or more than $20 per month (2%).

The New York Times recently put up a paywall, charging online readers who view more than 20 articles per month. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times also charge for online content. Post continues after video.

But while online paywalls are becoming more common, fewer people said they would be willing to pay to read content online than said so (23%) in late 2009.


Other findings of the poll include:

  • Younger adults are more likely to pay for a daily newspaper's online content. Just over a quarter of those between 18 and 34 said they would, compared with between 15% and 18% of other age groups.
  • 25% of men said they would pay, while only 15% of women said they would.
  • The more education a person has, the more likely he or she is willing to pay to read a daily newspaper's content online: 28% of college graduates, 19% of people who have attended some college, and 15% of those who have not attended any college at all.

More on and MSN Money:

May 14, 2011 11:18AM
My local newspaper put up a paywall. The thing is, the people who pay for it don't just get content; they're treated to full-page pop-up ads and pictures of used cars splashed across the background, plus ads on the side and in the middle of every article. We refuse to give them money to sell us things, but they're pretty much the only source for local news in town. So during the last primaries we couldn't find any information about the candidates because they had a monopoly on interviews and news. And if there are important things we should know, like what the school district is up to or how our bills will increase from a new tax, we have to glean it from headlines or the comment sections. It's outrageous.
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