Why Pubs Can’t Charge for News Online

Pew has released a big new report (based on survey data) covering online (and mobile) news consumption. You can read or download the report here.

There are lots of interesting findings, just a few of which are as follows:

  • Six in ten Americans (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day, and the internet is now the third most popular news platform, behind local television news and national television news.
  • While online, most people say they use between two and five online news sources and 65% say they do not have a single favorite website for news.  Some 21% say they routinely rely on just one site for their news and information.
  • 75% of online news consumers say they get news forwarded through email or posts on social networking sites and 52% say they share links to news with others via those means.
  • 51% of social networking site (e.g. Facebook) users who are also online news consumers say that on a typical day they get news items from people they follow.

Portal sites are the most commonly used source online for news:

Portal websites like Google News, AOL and Topix are the most commonly used online news sources, visited by over half of online news users on a typical day.  Also faring well are the sites of traditional news organizations with an offline presence, such as CNN, BBC and local or national newspapers.

What all this effectively means is that unless you’re a news “brand” (and there are very few) you can’t hope to charge anything for your content. And because traditional media no longer control distribution of their content online it will be equally difficult for them to make money on advertising because of a lack of reach.

Compare findings from the NAA and comScore about local newspaper websites being most trusted.


One Response to “Why Pubs Can’t Charge for News Online”

  1. nexttolastblog Says:

    The NY Times ,WSJ, USA Today and a few others will be here in 2020.
    Locals will be rare, regional papers in some areas.I love them but they are going to be chopped liver. Old news, high prices, not green. Lucky the comics, coupons, and crosswords are still present; if not, the numbers would be worse.

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