Newsosaur (Ken Doctor) reporting:
roughly a third of the nation’s newspapers are charging for access to
their web and mobile content, the early evidence suggests that digital
audiences aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about paying for news as
publishers are about charging for it.
digital-only subscribers make up 37.6% of the total circulation of the
Wall Street Journal and 34.4% of the total readership of the New York
Times, the number of digital-only subscribers at Gannett, the largest
publisher of general-interest newspapers in the land, is 2.2% of its
average aggregate weekday circulation of 3 million subscribers.
the relative productivity of their paywalls, the paid penetration at
the Journal and the Times pales in comparison to the success that
Netflix, Spotify, Major League Baseball and other ventures have had in
selling entertainment-oriented digital content. As illustrated in the
table below, Netflix, the most popular digital pay service of our time,
has 40 times more monthly subscribers than the New York Times.
disparity in the demand for news and entertainment subscriptions
suggests that the market for digital news may be less robust than
newspaper publishers want it to be. But there is no doubt that
publishers are counting heavily on it. ...