Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Paid content and paywalls

Who pays for news in general and why

Despite an increasing number of free news options available, a majority of adults pay for a news source of some sort. Again, 53 percent of adults report they either pay for a newspaper, magazine, news app, or news site, or donate money to public radio, public television, or a nonprofit news organization. And 65 percent […]

Newspaper subscribers vs. other types of subscribers

Within the universe of people who pay for news, the survey identifies those who subscribe to newspapers and those who do not. In all, 54 percent of people who pay for news subscribe to a newspaper, and there are a number of differences between newspaper subscribers and subscribers of other news sources.1 Newspaper subscribers tend […]

Who does not pay for news

Slightly less than half of Americans in the survey say they do not pay for news from a newspaper, magazine, news app, news site, or donation to nonprofit journalism. Nonetheless, many of those who do not pay for these sources still follow a great deal of news, just less than subscribers do. For instance, many […]

“Seekers” vs. “Bumpers” and a potential target for news organizations

In research that the Media Insight Project produced in 2015, we innovated a concept that we think has become an important one in trying to understand the future of news. We asked people whether, on balance, they were more likely to actively seek out news or whether they were more likely to bump into it […]

Print vs. digital subscribers: Demographic differences and paths to subscription

Overall, 58 percent of subscribers describe themselves as primarily print-oriented, and 28 percent say they are primarily digital. Among just newspaper subscribers, even more (75 percent) describe themselves as print-oriented. But these numbers look very different when we break people down by demographic groups. Among those who pay, Hispanics are particularly likely to use primarily […]

Price and paying for news

If subscriptions are going to play a bigger role in the future of journalism, then another area of growing importance is pricing. How sensitive are people to the price of the news? If the price were lower, or structured differently, might more people pay? Or are those who pay for news a relatively smaller group […]

How do younger news payers differ from older news payers?

In the end, the future of the news industry hangs on whether younger audiences engage with news strongly and if the group often called Millennials is willing to pay for the news directly. What does the survey indicate about that? To know, we need to take a deeper look at the attitudes of the youngest […]

Paying for news: Why people subscribe and what it says about the future of journalism

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Introduction The future of journalism will increasingly depend on consumers paying for the news directly, as content distributors like Facebook and Google take up the lion’s share of digital […]

Mother Jones used its prison exposé to turn readers into sustaining donors

You might have heard: In June 2016, Mother Jones published a major exposé on private prisons (Mother Jones) But did you know: The success of Mother Jones’ prison exposé can be measured in awards, but Benjamin Mullin writes there’s another way to look at the success of the exposé: “It helped Mother Jones bring in a […]

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