Thursday, November 19, 2009

Will Web Browsers Pay for online Information?

Excerpts from Forrest Research Study

New research from Forrester has found that while a minority of consumers is willing to pay for online content, not all pay models are considered equal.

The findings are relevant today when just about every print publisher is hunting for ways to offset declines in ad revenue by shifting their revenue burden to readers who are used to a world of free online content.

While 80 percent of consumers said they would not pay for access to online content if the publisher erects a pay wall, equal amounts—8 percent—said they preferred an online subscription and multichannel subscription. Only 3 percent said they’d prefer micro payments.

That suggests publishers should keep offering free, ad-supported products to the vast majority who won’t pay, while giving those who will pay a choice of payment methods for access to premium products, says the Nov. 10 report entitled "Publishers Need Multichannel Subscription Models."

Favorites were outlined as follows
37% Web site
14% portable devices like mobile phones
11%, laptops and netbooks
10 % print publication via an emailed PDF.
3 % e-readers like the Kindle
Notably, fully 44 percent said they preferred none of those options.

Who will pay for online content? The study found that people who are college-educated, technology optimists and higher earners are more likely to pay for online newspapers. Age was barely a factor in willingness to pay.

Age was a bigger factor among those who are willing to pay for online magazines. That group also is more likely to be college-educated and favoring technology. Income is barely a factor among this group, though.

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