A Pew Research Center study has some interesting conclusions about on-line advertising, says Ars Technica. On-line ad revenue declined by a total of $1 billion last year, falling for the first time since 2002. 81% of respondents said that they didn’t mind on-line advertising in return for free content.
However, only 7% of consumers said they would be willing to pay for news—most said they would simply look somewhere else if their favorite site erected a paywall.
Ars Technica recently experimented with blocking content to users of ad-blocking software, then posted an editorial haranguing users of ad-blockers for costing the site revenue. Ars also offers a premium program where users can pay for benefits and to support the site.
The on-line content industry should be paying attention to this kind of survey—when compared to news sites’ plans to press ahead with charging for content, it makes it appear that they and their audience are living on entirely different planets.