Oxford University find 100% more people willing to pay for online news content

By Simon Kay

June 20, 2013 | 2 min read

Twice as many people are willing to pay for online news content than a year ago according to a study by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute Study of Journalism.

The study - co-sponsored by Newsworks - which polled 11,000 internet users across nine countries, found that 25 to 34 year olds are most willing to pay for online news. A Reuters spokesperson said this may be an indication of stability for the future of online journalism.

Online newspaper readers are more likely to have paid for news (16 per cent versus percent UK average) and those who haven’t yet paid are more willing to consider paying for news in the future ( per cent versus 5 percent UK average).

Another trend the study revealed was nearly half of 18 to 24 year olds read a digital newspaper, showing a definite shift in reading habits across the generations.

It was also found that the more devices consumers own, the more likely they are to read digital newspapers as a third of people who own one device read digital newspapers. However this rises to nearly two thirds for people who own three devices. Over half (55 per cent) of all tablet owners use them for news access an online newspaper weekly – with mobile users a close second at 52 per cent.

Judy Harman, planning director at Newsworks, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the strength of newspaper brands among the UK news audience. It’s great to see that newspapers are destination brands for young people online and that they are considerably more willing to pay for online news, especially if they are reading on tablets.”

Nic Newman, author, research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, said: “We’re starting to see significant shifts in public attitudes to online news, with more people starting to pay for digital news or seeming to accept that in future they will probably have to pay for a service that they currently get for free.

“Paywalls and apps are no longer regarded as novelties, but are now increasingly part of everyday life for many of those wanting to access news.”


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