Report: 80% of consumers won't access premium news content

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While publishers continue to weigh their premium digital content prospects, a new Forrester Research reports indicates that 80 percent of U.S. consumers maintain they will no longer access newspapers and magazines online if the content is not free. Among the 20 percent of consumers who would agree to premium access, 8 percent favor a subscription model to access all online content, another 8 percent prefer a subscription approach that combines web, print and mobile device access, and just 3 percent desire a micropayments-based model charging for each article read.

"This data suggests two things: Publishers should continue to offer free, ad-supported products to the 80 percent of consumers who won't pay for content online; and publishers should offer consumers a choice of multichannel subscriptions, single-channel subscriptions, and micropayments for premium product access," writes Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps on the firm's blog, adding that the need for a multichannel product and pricing strategy is further reinforced by the ‘what if' scenario of print being discontinued. In that event, 37 percent of consumers tell Forrester they would prefer to access content on a website, 14 percent say they'd prefer access via portable devices like mobile phones, 11 percent favor laptops and netbooks, and 3 percent point to ereader devices like Amazon's Kindle. Ten percent say they'd prefer to receive PDFs by email.

For more on the survey:
- read this Forrester Blog entry

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