Wired reports that a study of mobile device users indicates that almost half use their handhelds to get some kind of local news or information. But will they pay for it? Here’s the latest data: just ten percent of adults who use mobile applications to get local news/info pay for these services — one percent of all adults. And most of them say they’re not particularly interested in paying much more.
The format in which news are preferred must be something that’s changing by different generations, or perhaps just rather by what people start to use internet for. I’ve never subscribed to any paid newspaper – when I lived alone, what would have been the point? When I lived with others… well, I’ve never had time to read paper newspapers anyway. Or compared to the medias in the internet, the printed news are already a bit more out of date anyway. So, in the 1990s I didn’t see why I’d subscribe to a paid newspaper.
Now… much hasn’t changed. An occasional free newspaper will do. For local content? There’s the internet, and there are even the TV news (which I watch very rarely). I know some local newspapers and news medias provide apps for mobile medias, but have I ever even had a look at them? Not really. Some newspapers do pretty neatly a subscription model – read news for free, but read more articles or access older content with a subscription. I’ve learned to live with that a long time ago – if there’s something worth reading later, save a copy, or save a link and have the interesting part of text linked or stored somewhere else.
I guess if there was something very very relevant to my interests in some app providing local (news) content, I might possibly consider paying something for it. But after over 15 years of using the internet for various things, I can’t think of even a single news source that I’d consider worth paying. I have a few news relevant links and email addresses stored on the phone and other devices though, but that would be for providing occasional content some newspapers pay for.