Who Will Pay For News Content Online?

Back in November, New York magazine asked of 100 people walking around SoHo about online content, and found that while an almost equal number admitted to getting just as much information from traditional newspapers as from the Internet, the majority (63 percent) said that they wouldn’t shell out cash to read The New York Times online.

Now a new poll by CNET proves that this particular subset of New Yorkers may have not have been the norm: the number of people unwilling to pay for content in America is actually much higher.

Out of the over 2,000 people surveyed, 77 percent said that they would pay nothing for their online content, excluding service provider charges. This number, when broken up by region, was even more telling: the East Coast had the most unwilling population (81 percent refused to pay), while the West Coast saw a slightly more accepting group (29 percent said they would pay, and 4 percent said they would shell out over more than $11, the highest number on the list). This may be because of Silicon Valley and the number of online/tech companies on the West Coast, and how many people’s livelihood depends on the relative amount of money one can make online.

CNET also took a poll to find what age groups still read the most newspapers, and discovered that those 55 years and older were far and away the biggest subsection of daily newspaper readers. Ironically, if we remember what Nieman Lab’s Josh Benton told us at the e-Reader Summit, these are the same people who are buying the Kindle and making e-readers seem so attractive, when really it’s the same subset of individuals who would buy a newspaper subscription for more money anyway.

Read More: Poll: Most won’t pay to read newspapers online –CNET

Previously: New York Magazine Poll: Newspapers and New Media Neck and Neck, But No One Willing To Pay, 2010: The Year of the e-Reader Paradox