Young People More Predisposed To Pay For Online News, Says Reuters Institute Report

Paywall is no longer a dirty word as more young people realize what is now free won't be free for long.

Beleaguered news organizations may find something to cheer about in a newly released report about the state of online news. The Reuters Institute's Digital News Report has studied the online news-gathering habits of 11,000 Internet users in nine countries and discovered that young people are more likely to pay to read their news online than older folks.

The author of the study, Nic Newman, calls the results "significant shifts in public attitudes," adding that there seems to be an increasing acceptance that people will have to pay for a service that is, for the moment, free.

In the U.K., the number of people paying for news has more than doubled in a year, from 4% to 9%. Of all the people surveyed, one in five between ages 25 and 34 were happy to pay for information, compared to one in 10 from the over-55 age group.

Of all the countries studied, the U.S., France, and Germany all showed similar gains—only Denmark bucked the trend, said the BBC News website. The findings will be cheered by the paywall lobby—the Washington Post, for instance, is this year constructing a paywall system.

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  • benboyer

    Its hard for me to think this will continue as a long term trend as the sheer volume availability and speed of info continues to increase rapidly.

    I think the bigger and sometimes favored or trusted brands like the Washington Post etc... will just need to monetize in other ways.

    There are so many other ways to monetize it seems almost lazy to me to try to continue to charge the readers / audience. I could be wrong but it's hard for me to see it as a sustainable trend / business model