Only about 10 percent of online readers pay for news

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Despite news organizations’ efforts to offer readers more ways to pay for digital news, only about 10 percent of online users worldwide are actually paying, according to a new report from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. “Digital News Report 2014″ surveyed more than 18,000 people in several countries, including the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Japan.

Those findings are consistent, the report finds, with similar studies from Pew “which suggests that industry activity does not necessarily mean more individuals are paying for news but rather that ‘more revenue is being squeezed out of a smaller, or at least flat, number of paying consumers.’”

Some other findings:

– Of those who do pay for news, a higher proportion are paying for online subscriptions. The figure rose from 43 percent to 59 percent, “compared with a one-off payment like a day pass or app download.”

– Sixty-one percent of people who pay for their news around the world are male, more than half have a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, and about 42 percent get their news on a tablet.

The report also examines mobile phones and tablets, news disruption and social networks.

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  • Robert Weller

    There is a huge flaw in this analysis. It is only considering payments users know about. Spying, dumping target beacons on unsuspecting viewers, is worth many, many billions to advertisers.