People Actually Pay for Online Content?

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survey_smallADOTAS – What? According to a new Pew survey, 65% of Internet users have paid for online content.

But I thought the reason journalism was dying was because those cheap-ass browsers refuse to pay for content… Could it be journalism is dying because the quality of writing has disintegrated and mainstream (“establishment”) journalists are indistinguishable from political figures or corporate spokespeople?

No, that’s silly talk. Apparently Pew is counting a lot of stuff as content: videos, e-books, music, photos, ringtones, etc. And all that stuff falls under the umbrella of online content, it’s just that we’ve grown to connotate “online content” with ” news/newsy” articles.

It turns out 18% have paid for news content — and how many of those are Wall Street Journal subscribers? What’s great about a WSJ subscription is that you can either get your business to pay for it or write it off as a business expense on your taxes. Same with the Financial Times.

Paywall advocates are going to be screaming that 65% figure as they argue in favor of charging for Internet content — particularly the journalistic variety — rather than monetizing it through targeted advertising. Best you know the circumstances around that figure.

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