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Readers will pay but not online

Quality journalism is worth paying for, but not when it's online, according to a report by YouGov Sixth Sense.

The Times: paywall is imminent

The Times: paywall is imminent

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A survey of UK adults found that 60% were willing to pay for a supposed quality newspaper. 

Of the 2,160 people questioned in May, 44% said they preferred to pay for newspapers, from which they expected better journalistic content and in-depth reporting.

However, only 2% of those surveyed would be willing to pay for the same content online, with 4% saying they would pay for online content only if it wasn’t available anywhere else for free. 83% of those surveyed said they would refuse to pay for online content altogether.

News International is the only publisher in the UK to be actively in the process of erecting paywalls around all their content. Current users of The Times and Sunday Times will be asked to pay £1 per day or £2 per week, when it's free registration period ends. 

Data released last week by Experian Hitwise showed that from the week ending on 22 May to 19 June, The Times' online market share had dropped from 4.37% to 2.67% which it attributed to its new registration requirements and upcoming paywall.  

James McCoy, research director for SixthSense, said: "When you are used to receiving free reporting for nigh on ten years, you are not going to one day start compliantly paying for the same content."

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