Here’s an interesting turn of events. While newspapers debate the merit of micropayments, J.D. Power and Associates Web Intelligence Division surveyed blogs and message boards between December 2008 and February 2009 and discovered that nearly 40 percent of bloggers acknowledge that they would pay or already pay for news content. The reason? They understand the value of professional journalism and they don’t want the quality to decline.
“Among those bloggers who accept having to pay for news content in the future, many mention preferring a subscription service,” said Janet Eden-Harris, vice president of J.D. Power and Associates Web Intelligence Division. “Monthly or yearly subscriptions to content appeal to bloggers more than paying by the article, because in contrast to the iTunes model—in which content is licensed for a long period of time—news articles are more transient and lose value quickly. In addition, bloggers believe that thereâ€™s no easy way to pay for articles individually. Bloggers also say they would prefer a subscription service because it could include an ability to organize all the news articles read and to tag them for future reference.”
While J.D. Power acknowledges this survey looks at a small segment of the population, the conversation is also really in its nascent form. The mainstream public has not really been faced with the issue of pay for news or lose it as much as bloggers, who actively follow the health and evolution of the media, have been in the past year. So if it is up to bloggers, there just might be hope for the future of reporting.