The economic recession of 2008 and the growth of digital delivery of content has changed the revenue streams in the newspaper industry. For example, some news publishers favor charging readers for online content, while others do not. Those who have already built the pay wall and those who plan to build one in the near future can use several methods to do so. The purpose of this research was to assess the payment models for digital content in news organizations that publish a daily newspaper in the US.
A survey of 1,100 daily newspaper publishers in the US—all members of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA)—was conducted in June 2010 to assess the policies of charging for digital news content across a variety of digital delivery platforms. The response rate was 10%. The results revealed that 70% of the news organizations provided free access to news on their websites. However, 42% of respondents indicated that they planned to change their payment model. Of those planning to change their payment model, 80% (or 34% of the total sample) said they would start charging for online, mobile, or electronic products.
Regarding planned changes for the coming year, 21% of respondents said they planned to increase the price for their mobile and online products, and 47% of respondents said they planned to increase the price of their printed products.