Small wonder newspapers are bleeding red ink: Roughly half of mobile device owners use smartphones, tablet PCs and handhelds to get local news or information, but only 1 percent of all adults are actually willing to pay for these services.
According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, of 2,251 respondents polled, only 23 percent further said they’d be willing to shell out $5/month for access to local news and info. Findings further reveal only a third or so strongly value local newspapers, while 39 percentof those queried believe that the disappearance of newsprint would have no impact on their ability to stay abreast of local news and developments. Nonetheless, just a small fraction of those surveyed say that mobile devices are a primary source for news on crime, politics, breaking events in the community and other immediate happenings in their area.
With even the mighty The New York Times now erecting monthly paywalls in hopes of offsetting declining print ad revenue, insiders have questioned whether a viable market for premium-priced local news content still remains.