A new Reuters Institute study of 11,000 Internet users in nine countries signals a stronger acceptance of paywalls and apps as barriers to free-flowing content and a "significant shift" in public attitudes about the need to pay for content. The Guardian notes the report suggests younger people, those 25 to 34, are actually more willing to pay for news (20 per cent have) than are older people over 55 (10 per cent have).
Other key takeaways in the report for the Reuters Institute for Journalism at Oxford University: a rapid growth in mobile and app news readership, a trend toward multi-device consumption of news, a divide among countries of social media and newer media use, the rise of new pathways (like search engines) to news, and the enduring value of traditional brands as the business models around them shift.
Robert Picard, the respected media economist, paints an optimistic picture for digital journalism business models in a post for The Guardian. Picard said evidence is emerging of greater willingness for consumers to pay for news, with the assistance of news apps on smartphones and tablets as proprietary platforms. Picard, in his role as the director of research at the Reuters Institute, says a range of models is emerging in smaller and larger businesses. While they will not yield the revenue of print and broadcast, the shift in public attitudes offers hope for the survival of journalism, he concludes.