Online Readers Unwilling To Pay For News Content

As some news sites — especially those belonging to national newspapers — move or consider moving behind pay walls as a way to increase revenue, a new study shows that an overwhelming number of online news readers have no interest in paying for content.

According to a survey by the Pew Foundation’s Project For Excellence In Journalism, the number of people getting their news from websites is now at around 53% of all American adults. But only 35% of those say they have a single, “favorite” site.

And, making matters even more dire for those considering the pay wall model, 82% of those with favorite news sites say they would not pay for content from that site.

That means — and please correct me if my math is wrong — only about 3.33% of all American adults would be willing to pay for news online.

Write the Pew peeps:

In sum, there appears to be only a very small cohort of voracious news consumers who have to have their news from a particular site, even if they have to pay for it. The vast majority of online news consumers, though, seem willing to browse for news from many sites, do not have a favorite online news source, and even if they do, are not willing to pay for that site’s content.

What do you think:

State of the News Media 2010 [Project for Excellence in Journalism]