No surprises here: Forrester discusses the results of a consumer survey in which it’s reported that 80% won’t pay once the newspaper pay walls go up:
These data are consistent with a recent Harris survey that found largely the same thing:
Attitudes and behavior are frequently different so we’ll need to actually see what happens when the pay walls appear. But we can be relatively confident that a majority of consumers in the beginning will shun the paid content. The question is: what happens over time and will the publications hold on and be patient or will they blink if consumers push back and say “no”?
More interesting to me are the strategies that consumers find acceptable. In the first chart above a total of 16% seemed to say they would pay for a digital only subscription or a print-online-mobile subscription. Will enough of these people emerge to offset the ad losses from page views concealed behind pay walls? It’s an interesting question.
Related: Here’s yet another discussion of similar survey results from the Boston Consulting Group (reported in the NY Times):
Among regular Internet users in the United States, 48 percent said in the survey, conducted in October, that they would pay to read news online, including on mobile devices. That result tied with Britain for the lowest figure among nine countries where Boston Consulting commissioned surveys. In several Western European countries, more than 60 percent said they would pay.
When asked how much they would pay, Americans averaged just $3 a month, tied with Australia for the lowest figure — and less than half the $7 average for Italians. The other countries included in the study were Germany, France, Spain, Norway and Finland.