As a growing number of major media outlets proceed with eliminating free digital news content in favor of premium, subscription based services, a new report from Forrester Research doesn’t offer promising data to support the transition from free to paid content.
According to the study, 80% of US consumers will not access the content provided by publications (both newspapers and magazines) if it is not free. Only 8% are agreeable to a subscription model for all online content, while another 8% would enjoy a paid service that includes web, print and mobile device access. The remaining minuscule 3% minority would like to see a micropayments-based model where each article comes at a particular price.
“This data suggests two things: Publishers should continue to offer free, ad-supported products to the 80 percent of consumers who won’t pay for content online; and publishers should offer consumers a choice of multichannel subscriptions, single-channel subscriptions, and micropayments for premium product access,” says Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps.
With the death of the newspaper industry all but imminent, according to some media analysts, it was inevitable that major media outlets would soon endeavor to monetize mobile news and content distribution. And it will all but certainly take some time for the 80% opposed to warm to the idea that the days of free mobile news and content from their favorite sources can not exist without threatening the very existence of those sources.