Would You Believe Teens Have No Interest In Paying For News?

from the who-woulda-thunk-it? dept

In a study that should surprise just about none of you (unless you’re one of those newspaper execs who still thinks people will pay for the news), it turns out that teens have absolutely no interest in paying for news (thanks Felix Pleşoianu!), and they really like aggregation sites that provide them with a lot of info quickly and efficiently. Could newspapers (or the AP) provide them with this type of service? Sure… but they chose not to, and now complain about the companies that recognized this and provided what they refused to.

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Comments on “Would You Believe Teens Have No Interest In Paying For News?”

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jjray (profile) says:

paying for online news

The survey does not lie. Which is why I was surprised to read today about a new group of news organizations who are launching a pay online news site. Don’t these people do marketing surveys before launching something like this?


White Gryphon (profile) says:

Re: paying for online news

Don’t these people do marketing surveys before launching something like this?

Ha, ha! That’s a good one! These folks have had their heads stuck up their butts for so long they still think it’s 1998! I stopped reading anything but the comics and crossword when I realized that all they did was parrot back the “facts” doled out by the establishment and corps with deep pockets. They seem to rarely check anything they publish and could not investigate their way out of a paper bag!

Derek (profile) says:

Re: Till we get some value

The problem with ANY paywall is that it shuts down any conversation about the article. For instance, if there was a local news story happening in a distant city (like an Earthquake in Portland, OR) I would want to go to a news site that is local to the event to get the most in-depth news (in theory). If that site is behind a pay-wall of any kind, I am going to look elsewhere. I am not going to sign up for a site or look for a ‘local area establishment’ to give me a cupon if all I care about is one news story.

alternatives() says:

I'm not a teen

And I too have no interest in ‘paying’ for ‘news’.

Most of the ‘news’ you ‘pay’ for is a news-wrapper for advertisement. *yawn*

Not to mention this fine quote about the news business:

The following remarks were apparently made by John Swinton in 1880, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in during that same year. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

“There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

“The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

“We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

(Source: Labor’s Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

Anonymous Coward says:

old business model – news agencies such as AP or UPI provide syndicated stories to newspapers for a fee, which run them in a paid print next to paid ads, and online on sometimes paid sites next to other paid ads. The stories are then picked up by aggregater sites, which run them next to other paid ads, before people finally get around to reading the article and trying to ignore the ads.

new business model – content, online distribution, online ads, without the middle-man newspapers. How they never saw this coming is beyond me.

bob says:


“We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

I have long held the opinion that all Intelligentsia are in one form or another whores.

Anonymous Coward says:

newspaper? im not sure im familiar with that concept

when i saw the title i was surprised thinking “only teens?!”
In the information age who needs to buy the paper and end up with one point of view only? today you don’t even have to look for news with RSS you can have it all delivered (along with the latest TechDirt Article) to your google page and save yourself the trip to your front yard in the winter :P. Im 34 I don’t buy the newspaper my Dad is 73 even he checks the news online, if it wasn’t for my mom being computer shy (to say the least) they wouldn’t get the paper either.

net625 says:

Not just teens.

My Dad just had to buy a subscription to WSJ because he has been using a coworkers account (who is long gone), I would like to read the WSJ but I will never pay for it, if I can just do a Google search for what I want and then choose an article and then choose from something like 20 different free sites to read a variation of it. I would much rather do that then have to hand over $$ to read it. Most people I know would never pay for news, also its been available for free for so long so if they take that away then people will turn to whatever is still free, or start sharing accounts.

Cheese McBeese says:

Of course not...

There are a number of things to consider here.

First is the issue of news versus newspapers, which are not the same thing at all. Newspapers are the medium, news is the content. I wouldn’t pay for a newspaper any more than I would pay for a CD. However, if there was a really good news feed (there isn’t) I might pay for that.

Next is the issue of national versus local. A local paper with good coverage of local and community news as well as the usual national and international news might get my attention. Unfortunately, the local papers (especially mine here in Dallas) have weak reporting and uninspiring editorial content, to say the least. It’s difficult to find the real news because the pages are so dominated by low quality ads for car dealers and mattress stores. A national paper, like USA today or the WSJ, has no chance of interesting me because these papers compete with Internet rivals who are much more responsive.

The last point I’d like to make is that part of the problem is the teenagers themselves, although I don’t think it’s their fault. Many of them wouldn’t know good news reporting if they saw it because it’s been such a long time since there were really good papers in this country and so much of what they get from the Internet is junk. And even though this generation has access to more news than any previous generation via the Internet, my observation is that most aren’t interested in real news and don’t bother to look for it. They’re too busy wasting their minds on the kind of useless drivel that is being broadcast by Twitter. Twitter is like the People Magazine of Internet information. Short bursts of mostly irrelevant information good for killing time when you’re stuck on the can.

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