Newspapers Aren't Quite Sure Whether You'll Pay To Read Their Stuff Online

Alan Mutter, who pontificates about the print industry on his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, cites a survey that says 51 percent of paper publishers think it’s a good idea to start charging readers for online content they’ve always given away for free

Mutter also cites other figures that reinforce publishers’ wariness about taking the paid content plunge:

While 68% of the publishers responding to the survey said they thought readers who objected to paying for content would have a difficult time replacing the information they get from newspaper websites, 52% of polled readers said it would be either “very easy” or “somewhat easy” to do so.

These findings – and the others summarized below – are contained in an exhaustive survey by industry consultants Greg Harmon and Greg Swanson. They were hired by the American Press Institute to conduct the research for an invitation-only meeting of about three dozen industry executives being held today at a hotel in suburban Washington, DC.

I love newspapers, but I doubt I’d pay to read any of them online. Years of free information have conditioned me to expect unpaid access to newspapers, and I suspect that’s the same for the Consumerist audience. What news sources, if any, would you pay to read online?

Only 51% of pubs think pay walls will fly [Reflections of a Newsosaur]
(Photo: Don Solo)