Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Report: Digital Subs Challenging For News Outlets
News organizations are being challenged by technology giants and unsettled by a broader lack of trust but they have a much deeper problem: most people don’t want to pay for online news, the Reuters Institute found.
Swiftly accelerating mobile internet and smartphones have revolutionized the delivery of news and destroyed the business models of many news organizations over the past 20 years, leading to falling revenues, layoffs and takeovers.
The mass migration of advertising to U.S. technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has hammered revenues while more than half the world’s population now has access to news via an internet connection.
But will people actually pay for news?
Even among those who do pay, there is “subscription fatigue” - many are tired of being asked to pay for so many different subscriptions. Many will opt for films or music rather than pay for news. So some media companies will fail.
“There is no sign that the majority of people are about to pay for online news, although many recognize that information on the internet is often overwhelming and confusing,” said Nic Newman, a senior research associate at the Reuters Institute.
“Some of the biggest brands have already shown they are able to attract a large number of paying subscribers, but the road ahead will be more challenging for other publishers,” he added.
While many news organizations add paywalls and some see increases in digital subscriptions, there has been little change in the proportion of people paying for online news, apart from the “Trump bump” rise in the United States in 2016/2017.
In the United States, those paying for news online were likely to have a university degree and be wealthy: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post did well on digital.
When asked what media subscription they would pick if they had only one for the next year, just 7% of under 45-year-olds picked news. The report showed 37% would opt for online video and 15% for online music.
Posted 1:16:00 AM