Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Canadians Turn A Cold Shoulder to Newspaper Paywalls

University of British ColumbiaImage via WikipediaWith The New York Times and the Tulsa World among the most recent U.S. newspapers to begin charging visitors to view their online content, a survey by the University of British Columbia ("UBC") reveals that Canadians have little appetite for paywalls.

Roughly 1,700 Canadian adults were polled online, according to UBC Graduate School of Journalism emerita Prof. Donna Logan, lead author of  the study entitled Canadian Consumers Unwilling to Pay for News Online (catchy name, eh?). A whopping 81 percent of those surveyed said they would not pay to read news online, with 90 percent claiming they would seek free alternatives if their preferred online news site implemented a paywall. Factors, such as age, education level, and rural/urban residents, had little impact on the poll results.

Only 30 percent of those surveyed said they would consider paying for online content if no free alternative news sites were available.  Among those willing to part with their hard-earned Canadian dollars, flat-fee subscriptions were preferred over metered payment and pay-as-you-go models.

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