Publishers prepare for U-turn as 70% plan to charge for online content
Friday 02 October 2009
As newspapers and magazines look to boost revenues in the recession, nearly 70 per cent will continue or plan to charge for their online content.
The prediction by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) marks an extraordinary U-turn by the industry; just two years ago, 53 per cent of the AOP's members said they had "no plans to charge for content".
Payment for online publications has been a hot topic since Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation, which owns The Times and The Sun, said the newspaper model was "malfunctioning" and his titles could start charging for internet content in 2010.
The AOP survey found that those who plan to charge were looking at special reports and downloadable applications. Others saw charging for their archives and specific mobile content as potential opportunities. The websites of financial newspapers such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal charge for premium content, but experts are unsure the same model will be successful for mainstream news.
Several papers have been toying with introducing a micropayments system, where readers pay a couple of pence tro read each article. Respondents to AOP's most recent content-and-trends census said one in three of those charging for content would impose such a system in the next year.
Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, said it could work for specialist markets but not for all news because "there are enough free sources".
Those polled said the biggest online opportunities this year were in mobile internet operations, with 86 per cent saying they either already provided or would launch mobile sites.
Other areas of opportunity include growth of user-generated content, the growth of super-fast broadband, social networking through Twitter and Facebook, and behavioural targeting.
Yet 70 per cent still fear further falls in the economy as a threat to the industry. Half named the BBC as well as competitors and 38 per cent named Google as the biggest threat.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...