New Media Professionals Unconvinced of the Economic Benefits of Paywalls

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New DigiCareers survey reveals only one in four industry professionals believe paywalls increase a company’s revenue

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90% of participants stated they expect some level of free content or services

A recent paywall survey conducted by DigiCareers among 200 New Media professionals reveals that only one in four (26%) industry professionals believe paywalls increase a company’s revenue or topline. A paywall is the point that separates free content/services and paid content/services.

Surprisingly, 31% of New Media professionals believe the use of paywalls will have no impact upon revenue generation, while 11% believe paywalls will actually decrease revenue.

“Given that 90% of participants stated they expect some level of free content or services before encountering a paywall, the concept of free or ad supported content is by no means dead,” said Mike Carroll, Director of Sales and Marketing of DigiCareers. “However, participants do not disproportionately perceive sites that employ paywalls as negative,” said Carroll.

To increase the opportunity for success, the survey reveals that content and service providers must clearly articulate and communicate their policies regarding the amount of free content or services that will be provided prior to presenting a paywall. Regrettably, 69% of all participants stated they felt “trapped” and unable to access the information or services they were expecting.

The survey also reveals that upon encountering a paywall, more than half of all participants (52%) claim they immediately leave the site. However, 42% stated they review the terms and actually consider a purchase decision. Surprisingly, 30% also admitted they attempt to bypass paywall restrictions by deleting cookies, terminating browser sessions, or acquiring login credentials from a friend or colleague.

To help consumers cross a paywall and drive company revenue, participants suggested a promotional or discount period be provided (55%). Participants also stated the ability to purchase an individual article, song, service, or content on demand (39%) rather than being forced to purchase a package or subscription would be helpful.

“Given that 95% of participants prefer a paywalled compared to a pay-only site, it is vital that organizations understand the attitudes and opinions to drive purchases and consumers through paywalls,” said Carroll.

The survey was conducted in April, 2012 among more than 200 new media professionals. The collected data possess an aggregate data tolerance of +/- 6.9%.

About DigiCareers
DigiCareers is a website providing job, career, and industry information for more new media professionals focused on advertising, media planning, mobile, web analytics, marketing, SEO, sales, and management.

To learn more about the survey results or DigiCareers, please visit http://www.digicareers.com/ or call 1-800-872-5401.

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