Freemium and metered models may be the answer
A survey of 11,000 internet users in nine different countries carried out by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University has found that more people are now willing to pay for digital content. Sadly, it didn’t say whether tablet users are more likely to do so than smartphone users but we suspect that this is the case. Writing in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Professor Robert Picard , who is director of research at the Reuters Institute made it clear that publishers can take a hit on their traffic (and therefore ad rates) if enough people bother to pay.
The survey found that 14 per cent of those not currently paying said they were likely to do so. Consumers aged 25 to 34 were the group most likely to pay for online content.
Picard says, Even if traffic does drop dramatically, “This can be an acceptable business outcome only if more income is gained from consumers than advertising revenue lost due to reduced traffic.”
“By contrast, freemium and metered models have reduced traffic by only 5 per cent to 15 per cent – thus showing it is possible to effectively generate both sales income and traffic-driven advertising income.”
Picard concludes, “The digital world will not yield income that print publishing produced in the 1990s, but revenues and profits from digital revenues are rising.”
Full detail on Oxford University’s Reuters Institute Study of Journalism research an be found here.