A report by Lightspeed Research revealed this week that consumers in the UK won’t pay for their online news content. We have all heard about Rupert Murdoch’s plan to move to a paid for content business model. Personally, I think this is a very risky strategy but the newspapers certainly have to do something to combat their dwindling circulation figures.

I definitely think it is time for the newspaper industry to start evolving and looking for potential revenue streams. However, I don’t think this is the answer and I still think that paid for content simply won’t work on news across the board. That said, I can see people paying for a really topical story, which is published as an exclusive, such as a one-off video of a really high profile/important event.

An article in Brand Republic states the survey identified:

“91% of UK consumers would be unwilling to pay for news online and 90% would be unwilling to pay for news analysis. Of those aged 16 to 24, 86% would never pay for news online, while in the 45 to 54 age sectors, 96% said they would not pay.

“In addition, only 5% of UK consumers would be happy to pay for each piece of news content online, while just 4% would be happy to take out a subscription for online news content.”

These are interesting statistics and they certainly represent some of the people I have spoken to also. The survey also found that almost half (46%) of people said they would pay for music and TV (43%) downloads and I have to agree that I would (and do) pay for these too.

I think it’s safe to say that the public have spoken here as 90% is pretty convincing. Rupert, I suggest you review your online strategy now before it’s too late!

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.