"Newspapers are screwed" according to an executive in a report from media law firm Olswang, 'Convergence 2009' on paid content. This latest data backs up Forester's and paidContent:UK's own data on how (un)willing people are to pay for online news content.
Here's the bomb: 60% of 1,013 people polled won't pay for any sort of newspaper articles on any digital format.
Otherwise, Unsure: 12 %; Obtain articles "illegally": 2%; Switch to free alternative: 8%; Seek free alternative but pay up if none available: 5%; Prefer subscription to micropayments: 2%; Would make micropayments but only infrequently: 8%; Would pay micropayments frequently: 4%.
Once again, the evidence stacks against Murdoch's plans. Only 19% responded in favor of micropayments for articles, but rose to 30% for iPhone owners. Probably because they can actually afford it.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau stateside has also released Q3 numbers on ad spending. Online spending was down 5.4% year over year to $5.5 billion, a slight increase from Q2's $5.4 billion. So that's good news. Click on the graph for a bigger popup version.
This has raised modest hopes for continued minor recovery. "While all segments of the media industry have experienced declines, online advertising remains resilient and is once again showing signs of growth," said David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which co-authored the report.