Poll: 48% of readers will pay for online subscription if it comes with benefits

Almost half of news website readers would pay to access online content if they also received a free or discounted subscription to the printed product, according to a poll.

Paid Content has been running the results of a survey into consumers’ resistance to paying for online content all week.

The poll suggested only 5 per cent of people who read news at least once a month would pay for online content.

If print and online subscription was offered in tandem, things get more interesting.

When a free or discounted subscription to the printed paper is added to the online content charge,  48 per cent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay. However, more than half of respondents said this option will prove to be a turn off for them.

The message is loud and clear – people continue to believe that touchable products command tangible economic value but, divorced from physicality and its associated costs, that digital content should manifest itself cheaper.

 Harris Interactive, which conducted the survey, asked 1,188 adults for their views on paying for online content. Its results have been coming in all week.

It was revealed on Monday that 74 per cent of those surveyed would switch to a free alternative if their favorite news service started charging for online content. Only five percent would pay to continue reading.

On Tuesday it was revealed that the few respondents who were willing to pay for subscriptions would prefer to do so annually instead of in micro- payments.

Yesterday it was revealed that respondents were prepared to pay amounts as low as £10 for an annual subscription, £0.25 for a day pass and per-article fees of between 1p and 2p.

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