Will people pay for online content? Yes, but not necessarily for news.
More details have emerged at an international newspaper industry meeting on the recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers study (finally released in PDF form here) of seven countries and their attitudes toward paying for online content.
The report finds that the abundance of content online diminishes the prospects for charging consumers for it --- the report's author told Poynter that the "market is disturbed" by so much freely available content --- but that specialized content on particular topics has a chance.
In the years ahead, consumers will spend more on the Internet, and that will make it easier to persuade them to pay for content. What's more, e-commerce is an opportunity for newspapers --- consumers suggest they'd be willing to buy a book or book a trip through the paper.
One other major point: Consumers expect to be part of the conversation with papers about content.