Throughout the past decade, one of the key challenges for content owners and publishers has been how to get people to pay for digital content that they were used to getting for free. To this day, many people are unwilling to pay for access to a news website, while they have no problem buying a printed newspaper. The lack of a physical, haptic product seems to diminish the perceived value of digital content, notwithstanding the fact that media is mostly consumed digitally these days.
One way of getting people to pay for digital content is to create a product/service that takes advantage of its digital nature by offering something that no physical product could. Take music streaming services for example: for a modest monthly fee, subscribers get access to millions and millions of songs, creating a service whose advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantage of not owning an actual record, at least for most consumers.
As the following chart, based on data from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey
, shows, subscription services are currently the most popular way of consuming paid digital content in the US and the UK. While digital distribution has become the new norm for music and video content, the willingness to pay for digital news content is still limited. Interestingly, Americans appear to be more open to spending money on digital content than Britons across all categories.