Monday, March 15, 2010

PEJ Survey: Online News Paywalls Hit a Brick Wall

nytimes-paywallImage by Peter Forret via Flickr
A recent online survey of more than 2,200 persons by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)  yielded bad news for cash-strapped newspaper publishers hoping to generate revenue by posting online content behind paywalls.

According to the PEJ survey of 2,259 indivduals during December 2009-January 2010, only 19 percent expressed a willingness to pay for news content online. Worse, 82 percent of those queried who regularly visit specific news Web sites would search out alternative sites if their preferred site charged to view news content.
 The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.

The PEJ study revealed that if forced to choose, participants preferred a subscription service to a pay-as-you-go plan for their online news reading.

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