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Who'll pay for news

25 Oct 19

Who'll pay for news
Who will give 287,000 adults a news service they'll pay for?

The country’s news organisations are struggling to make money from large online audiences.

But if they have the right news products online - and dare to charge for them - maximum potential sales revenue, if every adult who says they'll buy does so - is more than $480 million a year.

That's if product, price, and promotion are ideal - and consumers are asked to pay just $3 a week.

Revenues of this size would help secure the future of many of country's mainstream media companies. Or underpin new tartgeted start-ups if others ignore opportunities to give New Zealanders the news services they'll pay for.

An October 2019 Horizon survey finds 8% of adults would pay a subscription for news online, equivalent to around 287,600 people.

Assuming the same ratios apply to both the NZ Herald and Stuff, that indicates about 80,000 of the adults using the Herald online news website in the past 30 days are potential buyers, as are about twice that number of Stuff users.

At $3 per week 80,000 news subscriptions would earn around $124 million a year.

6% say they would buy a subscription to news online if it were combined with a print subscription.

This lifts the total saying they'll buy online news to above 8%.

48% say they would not pay for an online news subscription at all, and 27% say they would not pay for news online or in print at all.

A full analysis of streaming and online news subscription markets is available from Horizon Research.

The survey was of 1000 respondents representing the 18+ population at the 2018 census. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error is +/- 3.1%.

FOOTNOTE: On December 4, five weeks aftr Horizon published these result and comments, Newsroom reported that Stuff was considering some form of charges for content.

For further information please contact

Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research, e-mail, telephone +64 21 848 576