41% Of American News Readers Would Pay For Digital News

By Aarthi Rayapura March 8, 2016

In a new report by Meclabs Institute ‘Newspaper Paywalls and Digital Subscriptions’, 41% of American news readers said they might be willing to buy a digital subscription to a newspaper if they are presented with a persuasive argument.

The three-month research surveyed 900 US news consumers aged 25 and older, with household incomes of $40,000 or higher and who spent three hours or more in a typical week consuming news in print or digitally. The report combines the survey data with qualitative information obtained by interviewing industry and academic experts. Craig Barberich, Zuora’s Head of Media was an expert contributor to the study. Other experts included Peter Doucette,VP of Consumer Sales and Marketing at The Boston Globe, Charles Duhigg, Sr Editor, The New York Times and Michael Brunt, CMO & MD for Circulation at The Economist and others.

The study discovered four key insights:

  • Because digital subscriptions lack a perceived product-level value proposition, consumers have commoditized digital news content.
  • News consumers have been conditioned to expect a seamless digital experience.
  • Exclusive content is the primary motivation for subscribers.
  • Customers are waiting for you to ask them to engage.

“The real question isn’t – will people buy digital subscriptions? The real question is – how can we use the digital landscape, the ecosystem, all of its advantages to deliver a better value proposition? The minute they answer that, they solve the real problem” said Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS Institute.

Join Craig Barberich, Zuora’s Head of Media and our guests – Subrata Mukherjee, VP of Product Management at The Economist and Neil Robinson, Digital Director at Time Inc to discuss The Battle for Audience Attention: Lessons from the Publishing Industry at our upcoming conference Subscribed (April 12-13, 2016 in San Francisco). Learn about dynamic paywalls, bundles and other strategies to gain attention, build customer relationships and increase revenue in the next five years.

Don’t miss this valuable session at Subscribed ‘16 – register today! (Only $399 before March 13th for you and a friend with the promo code ZUORA241). Already registered for Subscribed ’16 or have questions about the event? Connect with other attendees in our Subscribed ’16 Community Group!

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