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Pandemic Increases Willingness to Pay for News

11:00 December 15, 2020
By: Blake Anderson

Before the pandemic, most consumers got their news from free media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit. Consumers had a lot of trust in media sites, but that has since changed. The pandemic has brought about a lot of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and fake news. This has caused an increase in consumers' willingness to pay for news, since they are now searching for reliable news.

Trust in the news media has declined rapidly over the last seven months. Consumers believe that journalists no longer see themselves as seekers of facts. According to a study by Gallup, 54 percent of consumers believe that reports intentionally misinterpret facts, while 28 percent believe reporters make up facts entirely.

Recently, more publishers have added paywalls because consumers are willing to pay for legitimate news now. According to a survey from Altman Solon, 30 percent said they are willing to pay for well-researched and reliable news since the pandemic. Altman Solon has found that willingness to pay for news is more pronounced with young adults. Among the people of the ages 18-24, 53 percent say that they are interested in paying for news, but only 15 percent of people ages 55 and older are interested in paying for news. Even once things normalize slightly, it has been found that 82 percent of Americans will nonetheless continue to pay for reliable news.

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