Ian Burrell: Content that can be made to pay
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 24 March 2014
Almost four years after The Times blocked free access to most of its website with a paywall, 70 per cent of the public would “not consider” paying for digital news content, according to YouGov research commissioned by the London Press Club.
And yet, in the same survey, a group of more than 400 “opinion former” news junkies were far more positive about paying. Some 37 per cent of this group had made some kind of financial transaction for digital news in the past year (compared with 9 per cent of the wider public).
The YouGov survey offers pointers to the kind of content that is more likely to survive behind a paywall. An impressive 8 per cent of the public said they would pay for expert opinion, 6 per cent for sport and 6 per cent for local news. Among the niche of “opinion formers”, 34 per cent would pay for investigative journalism. There must be a viable business here.
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