New Study Probes What Readers Will Pay For Beyond Financial News

imageWhile it’s practically become cliché to say that web users would be willing to pay for financial news, a PricewaterhouseCoopers study finds that the possibilities for newspaper publishers are a little less narrow than that. Readers (the survey had more male respondents than female) are fairly amenable to paying for sports — they would be willing to go up to 77 percent of the full price, while finance content would command 97 percent of the highest price publishers might offer. Of course, the likelihood that readers would pay for content tends to diminish as you look at the inclinations of younger users.

PwC defines “willingness to pay” by asking consumers their reactions to the “maximum amount” a publisher would charge. And so, overall, PwC’s respondents would only be willing to pay 62 percent of the highest price for online content. But when it comes to e-paper and mobile, news readers would barely be willing to pay more than 1 percent of the top asking price for content that arrives via those two avenues. The findings were based on an online survey of 4,900 users in Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland the UK and the U.S.

Check out the chart and more after the jump.

Despite the extremely pessimistic view of e-paper and mobile, that attitude could change quickly. Respondents indicated that the main reason for their aversion to those areas had to do with the poor quality of the presentation — for example, text on a mobile phone being too small and lacking dynamic graphics — but as the flurry of news apps that have been coming out the past few months, the look and ease of portable digital reading could turn PwC’s findings on its head. Full report is available here.