In a not so surprising survey result, the Project for Excellence in Journalism states that most people will not pay for online news. Those surveyed also stated that they don’t mind online ads as long as the news is free. The report also stated that about $1 B less was spent on online advertising last year than the year before. This was the first decline in online advertising since 2002. The survey also indicated that about 21% of users click on ads some of the time, which is higher than most thought it would be.

In a recent article it also states:

Out of six in 10 Americans who say they get at least some news online during a typical day:

  • About 35% of Americans say they have a favorite news site that they check every day.
  • Among that small pool, only 19% said they would pay for news online. That includes people who already give cash to news sites.
  • 82% of people with favorite news sites said they’d find somewhere else to find their news if  they started asking for payments.
  • A person spends an average of three minutes and four seconds per visit on a news site.

“If we move to some pay system, that shift is going to have to surmount significant consumer resistance,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of PEW’s project.

What is not so surprising is that cable news is  flourishing, lead by Fox News. I am one of those who gets my daily dose of news from cable TV news stations, but do not limit myself to anyone of the many available.

What is clear from the data is that neither the news organizations nor those who surf the Internet are ready for paid content. So what are online news sites going to do? Maybe a tiered subscription with some free, some paid for content may work.

Comments welcome.