Cheatsheet: The state of paying for news

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Here is a look at the state of paid digital news consumption in the U.S:

• 54 percent: Globally, more than half of readers say they see no point in paying for news online because they can get the information for free already, according to research released last week by the Reuters Institute.
• 16 percent: The percentage of U.S. consumers who paid for online news last year. For comparison, 33 percent of American adults pay for a digital video service such as Netflix, and 22 percent pay for digital audio content, also per Reuters.
• 79 percent: The share of U.S. readers who say they are unlikely to pay for news in the future. That percentage is higher in most European markets, especially Germany (90 percent) and Finland (89 percent), again per Reuters.
• $18 billion: That’s how much print ad revenue U.S. newspapers made in 2016, a 63 percent drop from the $49 billion they earned 10 years prior, according to the News Media Alliance.
• 89 percent: The percentage of digital ad revenue that Google and Facebook claimed together in 2016, according to third-party calculations conducted using Interactive Advertising Bureau data, leaving just 11 percent for the rest of the digital ecosystem.

There are many models trying to overcome the mindset of content being free, given that was the focus in the early days in order to gain mass audiences. However, the counter argument is that whilst there are interesting paid content models being formed, there is still a heavy focus on digital advertising, instead of developing proper news content products.

This is a short cheat sheet on the state of paid news, according to Digiday.

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