As much as I want to believe there will one day be a paying audience for the written word online, and blog about this topic sporadically, I must confront evidence to the contrary, such as this previously overlooked item from Paid Content distilling a Jupiter Research report:
“Sixty four percent of adults … said they wouldn’t pay for content to avoid online ads,” the summary revealed. “However, 31 percent of online adults paid for content over the Internet, up 5 percentage points from last year. Paid content spending across categories is expected to grow 31 percent this year to $3.8 billion, gradually rising to $8.9 billion in 2010, JupiterResearch said. General content excluding games and music will grow slowly but steadily from $2.1 billion this year to $3 billion in 2010.”
So I guess the report isn’t entirely gloomy. Meanwhiile I continue to find encouragement in other observations, such this MediaPost story which suggests that “six in 10 Web users seek out news … more than any other type of content.” MediaPost said it derived that finding from Burst! Media. I went to Burst! This morning to look for the entire report but did not immediately see it (their news archive ended prior to the pub date of the referenced study). Burst! is apparently in the business of helping publishers create age-appropriate advertising. As MediaPost reported: “An earlier BURST! study suggests many consumers feel that online advertising is aimed at other age groups. Just 29 percent of Web users ages 14 and older think online advertising is focused on people their age.”
In any event, I will continue to nourish the hope that there are large numbers of people who seek out news — and that eventually we will find ways to collect payment so as to derive revenue and be able to offer proof of viewer loyalty, as do today’s print media.
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media