LONDON (Reuters) – News organizations are being challenged by technology giants and unsettled by a broader lack of trust but they have a much deeper problem: most people don’t want to pay for online news, the Reuters Institute found.
FILE PHOTO: Front pages of newspapers and magazines are displayed on an iPhone during the grand opening and media preview of the new Apple Carnegie Library store in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
Swiftly accelerating mobile internet and smartphones have revolutionized the delivery of news and destroyed the business models of many news organizations over the past 20 years, leading to falling revenues, layoffs and takeovers.
The mass migration of advertising to U.S. technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has hammered revenues while more than half the world’s population now has access to news via an internet connection.
But will people actually pay for news?
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report that most people would not pay for online news and that there had been only a small increase in the proportion of people willing to do so in the last six years.
Even among those who do pay, there is “subscription fatigue” – many are tired of being asked to pay for so many different subscriptions. Many will opt for films or music rather than pay for news. So some media companies will fail.
“There is no sign that the majority of people are about to pay for online news, although many recognize that information on the