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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Majority of consumers would pay for online news, study says

I wish I’d had this study in hand for today’s column on the decline of free content and other Web freebies coming in 2010:

More than half of consumers are willing to pay for news online, according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group that’s likely to be referred to a lot as media and Web companies finalize their 2010 plans.

The firm surveyed 5,000 people in nine countries to find out what they would pay for online news, among other things. It said the average amount ranges from a low of $3 a month in the U.S. and Australia to a high of $7 in Italy.

“The good news is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, consumers are willing to pay for meaningful content. The bad news is that they are not willing to pay much. But cumulatively, these payments could help offset one to three years of anticipated declines in advertising revenue,” John Rose, a senior partner in the firm, said in the release.

Rose told The New York Times that willingness to pay is lower in the U.S. compared to other countries because it has so much free online content available.

Comments | Topics: Digital media, free, free content

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