Survey: readers not ready to pay for online news

15:11, March 15, 2010      

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Few news consumers surveyed by the Project for Excellence in Journalism said they are prepared to pay for news online, the Associate Press quoted the project's report as saying.

The project surveyed more than 2,200 online news consumers between Dec. 28, 2009, and Jan. 19, 2010.

The report said that 71 percent of Internet users, or 53 percent of all American adults, get news online. On average, each person spends three minutes and four seconds per visit to a news site.

Only 35 percent of online news consumers said they have a "favorite" news website, and of this group, only 19 percent said they would pay to visit their favorite site.

"Because so few online news consumers even have a favorite site this translates to only seven percent of all people who get news online having a favorite online news source that they say they would pay for," the report said.

Getting people to pay for news online at this point would be "like trying to force butterflies back into their cocoons," it suggested.

Meanwhile, revenue for online advertising has also been declining. The report said 79 percent of the online news consumers surveyed said they never or only rarely clicked on an online ad.

"They don't mind them. They simply ignore them," said the report.

The project also found that major news portals -- like Yahoo News, Google News, AOL, and Topix - are the most commonly used online news sources.

Currently, the Wall Street Journal charges readers for full access online and the New York Times has also announced plans to charge for full access to its website in 2011.

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