Paid content in media - Statistics & Facts

Paid content in media - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about paid content in print media

With newspaper and magazine circulation at an all time low in the United States, publishers are changing their priorities by focusing on the possibilities of the internet for accessing content. Charging for content is one way for these publishers to ensure that their businesses remain profitable. In 2013, it was forecasted that paid content revenue in the United States would reach 7.5 billion dollars, signaling a two billion dollar increase since 2009. Of that market, the category which generated the most revenue was expected to be games with 2.8 billion dollars worth of revenue in 2013, compared to entertainment content with only 0.9 billion dollars for the same year.

Arguably, the main reason for the adoption of paywalls by newspaper and magazine companies online is to generate extra revenue. In 2011, newspaper publishers in the United States were asked whether they charge users for online content. In 2011, only 41 percent said that they did charge, whereas as of late 2013, this share had grown to 70 percent of newspaper publishers. If the trend for charging continues, paywalls will become an increasingly common feature for online media companies. Another reason for introducing paywalls is the expectation that they will attract subscribers back to print editions. As of 2013, 33 percent of online newspaper companies admitted that the impact of a paywall on their news content had led to a decrease in online traffic, whereas a further ten percent did not know of the impact.

Consumer attitudes towards paywalls have been surveyed and in 2012, 52 percent of media professionals stated that when they encountered a paywall, they immediately left the site. On the other hand, four percent applauded the site for its business acumen. Consumers were also surveyed on what incentives they consider the most persuasive to encourage them to purchase online content. Promotional offers or a discount trial period was considered the most persuasive incentive with 55 percent share of respondents. Other responses included access to content only available to members or paid subscribers and enrollment in a points or loyalty program as attractive incentives.

Across the globe, incentives appear to have worked in some countries more than others. As of February 2013, of the consumers who were asked; Have you paid for online news content in the last year? Brazilian consumers in urban areas had the largest share worldwide with 22 percent on respondents answering yes. The United States was ranked 5th with 11 percent of consumers whilst the United Kingdom trailed behind with only seven percent of consumers.

In the United States when it comes to incentives, strategies, or just content worthy of people’s hard earned cash, the New York Time Company is leading the way by number of paid subscribers for digital online products. As of the second quarter of 2014, they had 831 thousand paid subscribers. The New York Times also lead the field in terms of smartphone editions of U.S. newspaper with the largest paid nonreplica circulation. As of March 2014, they had a circulation of over 75.2 thousand, in comparison with their nearest rival the Wall Street Journal with 56.7 thousand.

Photo: Wikimedia/cc, Icarusreader

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