The Online Content Crisis: Only 8% of Brits Prepared to Pay

London, UK: The UK has the lowest number of subscribers to online editorial content with just 8% of Brits currently paying for subscriptions compared to 14% of US consumers and 38% of Norwegians, according to research conducted by AudienceProject into global news consumption.

The study found that men are more likely to pay for subscriptions than women (10% versus 6%) and the most popular online editorial content to pay for is news (66%), while almost half of those who pay also subscribe to e-papers and e-zines (48%), and features and long-reads (42%).

The report also looks at how Brits consume news more generally and found that most (40%) read news on online news sites, while one quarter (24%) watch it on TV, 14% use social media and 14% listen to it on the radio. Just 5% of UK consumers say printed newspapers are their main source of news.

Trust is still an issue when it comes to online news – 37% of Brits say they have less or much less trust in online news over the last year compared to only 5% who have more or much more trust. This is likely why traditional media companies are the preferred choice for news, with in the top spot, followed by the Guardian and Sky News. Social media sites Twitter and Facebook also made it into the top 10, in ninth and tenth place respectively.

Social media and chat sites are where UK consumers spend the most time online (46%), although news websites are a close second (45%), followed by mail (39%). Asked which website they could not do without, Google ranked highest at 30%, followed by the (28%) and Amazon (23%). In 2017, Facebook was level pegging with Google at 30% but in two years has dropped to 19%.

Rune Werliin, Chief Product Officer, AudienceProject said: “We see a general trend towards a reality where more and more people are consuming their news online. In the UK, it is still the traditional media companies who are behind the most preferred online news sites. Coupled with a general move towards first-party data, the publishers can take advantage of this position by leveraging their audience data to make unique propositions for advertisers and agencies.”

About AudienceProject
AudienceProject is a technology-based market research company founded in Denmark and operational worldwide that helps publishers, agencies and advertisers identify, build, reach and measure audiences.

AudienceProject empowers publishers, agencies and advertisers to collect and activate their own audience data, so they can create unique data offerings and show advertisers the true value of omnichannel marketing.

Our goal is to help publishers get the highest possible value from their inventory, to help agencies build trust and become indispensable partners for their clients, and to help advertisers reach the right people and maximise the effect they get from their ad spend.

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The study is a part of AudienceProject Insights 2020. Data is collected through online surveys done in Q4 2019. The respondents have been selected from AudienceProject’s Nordic, German, UK and US panels consisting of more than 1.5 million panelists and weighed to achieve representativity on the more than 14.000 respondents who completed the survey.