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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : December 04, 2009

Report: Consumers will pay for content, if...

When it comes to online content, newspapers and magazine publishers have been complaining for years that consumers won't pay for it. They want it free. But a new report from Boston Consulting Group disagrees with that point of view, indicating that consumers will pay for content, if.

by Kristina Knight

What is the 'if'? If the content is new and if the content is not yet known. The report indicates that US and Australian consumers will pay upwards of $3 per month for content and up to $7 per month in Italy.

What makes content 'new' and/or 'unique'? The local factor is a start. According to the report 67% of all respondents were willing to pay for local news content with just over 70% of US respondents willing to pay for local news and information. Specialized and timely content are also areas in which consumers are willing to pay. Consumers also reported being willing to pay for content which is accessible conveniently on a handheld, laptop or other device.

And one more key: newspapers. According to the report consumers are most willing to pay for content from newspapers - a huge deal for publishers who've been watching readership and ad revenues dwindle over the past few years.

"Newspapers should be experimenting with paid online content," said Marc Vos, a partner with Boston Consulting Group's European media sector. "It will take trial and error to find what works."

Although $3 per month doesn't sound like a huge amount of money coming back into newspapers' purses, $3 per month multiplied by thousands - or even millions in bigger cities - of consumers will amount to a larger influx of cash. Added to that as consumers become used to paying for content read on computers, e-readers, mobile and other devices and as these devices become more accessible the advertising on such content and devices will also increase.

Tags: Boston Consulting Group, monetized content, newspaper advertising, newspaper content, newspapers, online content

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