Research: Internet Is UK’s No. 2 News Source, But Only 3.8 Percent Pay

Online may be challenging TV to be UK consumers’ primary news source – but only 3.8 percent pay for it, new research says.

In an annual media habits survey by the Oliver & Ohlbaum consultancy, 75 percent of respondents said they turned to television for news ahead of other media. Internet is the second-most popular format, with 68 percent opting for their news from online sites. Newspapers, meanwhile, were used by just over half of respondents.
But, for publishers who are hoping digital could prove to be a secondary revenue stream to that of its traditional businesses, one area that may not be yielding much in the way of returns yet is paid content…

  • Online, only 3.8 percent pay for online news.
  • On mobile, however, that rises to nine percent.
  • Tablets are so far the most promising medium of all, with 19 percent of users paying for news.

This shows that advertising remains by far the key revenue driver for many online sites.
Meanwhile, what to make of success of paid content on tablets? It could partly be down to the fact that tablet owners are early adopters, with more disposable income. It could also be down to the fact that those publishing for tablets have wised up after missing the boat with paid content on the wider internet.
Online is the medium through which consumers frequent most sources – an average of 5.2 sites per respondent, versus 1.5 radio stations, two newspapers, 1.8 mobile sites and 2.2 TV channels.