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.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.