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People getting used to paywalls, according to study

Graeme Parton

A study carried out by Oxford University has revealed a 100 per cent increase in the number of people who are willing to part with their money in**more** return for access to online content.

The research, which was organised in collaboration with Newsworks, involved the questioning of 11,000 people from nine countries. The results showed that internet users aged 25-34 are more willing to pay for their news than those in any other age group. One spokesperson from Reuters suggested that this statistic could signal a bright future in terms of the stability of internet journalism.

Those who read newspapers online were found to be more likely to have paid for access to content in the past. Most internet users who haven’t yet used a paywall-restricted site said they would consider paying in the future.

The study also revealed that almost 50 per cent of those in the 18-24 age group regularly read an internet newspaper – suggesting a significant shift in reading behaviour across the generations.

Interestingly, the results showed that people in the age group who own multiple devices are more likely to subscribe to a digital newspaper than those who use just have one.

Newsworks’ planning director, Judy Harman, spoke about the study’s results, saying:

“It’s really encouraging to see the strength of newspaper brands among the UK news audience. It’s great to see that newspapers are destination brands for young people online and that they are considerably more willing to pay for online news, especially if they are reading on tablets.”

While an increasing number of internet users are paying for access to online news, those who aren’t ready to part with their cash often cite the free availability of quality, subject-specific content. Many small businesses choose to provide regular news updates to maintain the interest of consumers.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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