STUDY: Millennials Will Pay for “Content” But Not News

News online can be free or hidden behind a paywall. Hmmmm...

Much to the chagrin of serious news organizations still finagling with their dreaded paywall, thinking people will actually climb that thing for a monthly fee, there is a study out from our friends at the American Press Institute that confirms publishers’ worst fears—young people will dole out the cash to be aware, just not for their product.

This report, which is based on a deeper analysis of our nationwide survey of adults age 18-34 conducted in early 2015, presents a new typology of Millennials as it relates to their information use and the way they consume information about different topics, and it has important implications for publishers who want to reach them.

The findings come from the Media Insight Project, a joint initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research at the University of Chicago. Here are a few of the findings from the Millennials of America:

  • 77 percent had paid in the last year for movies and television
  • 69 percent for cable
  • 54 percent for music
  • 51 percent for video games
  • 30 percent for print magazine or newspaper subscriptions.


Of the 53 percent who share they believe “keeping up with news is important” to them, only half pay for content, the rest getting what they need free. You know, because of social media and all.

Somehow, publishers of news content will understand that other content beats them out in ratings every time because of access. That traffic brings in ratings. Those ratings bring in advertising. That advertising brings… oh wait, this almost sounds like how newspapers stayed open.

You know, before social media and all.


Publish date: October 2, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT