Surprise! People Won’t Pay for News

If I were to say you had a choice between a free house and paying a mortgagee for 30 yeas which one would you choose? The free one? That’s what I thought.

This is the mentality the Internet drives on. It is a free roaming dump of information, among other things, and for the most part everything is free. Even things you need to pay for can be found for free if you have enough time and know-how.

Some media organizations, like The New York Times, want to put their content behind a pay wall. But will people pay? According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism

Photo credit: journalism.org

only 19 percent of people will pay for news online.

Moreover, 82 percent of people who have a preferred news site said if it went behind a pay wall they would go somewhere else for their news.

This doesn’t surprise me. The Internet does not lend itself to a business model. But news sites will have pay walls. There is really no other way they can recover from the economic downturn. I think that once the major news organizations do it people will have no choice but to pay. Unless, that is, people start pirating copies of the New York Times. That would be interesting to watch.

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