Cheatsheet: The state of paying for news

After years of publishers putting news and information online for free in the pursuit of audience scale, most people have got used to the idea that they don’t have to pay for content.

Here is a look at the state of paid digital news consumption in the US:

The numbers:
• 54 percent: Globally, more than half of readers say they see no point in paying for news online because they can get the information for free already, according to research released last week by the Reuters Institute.
• 16 percent: The percentage of U.S. consumers who paid for online news last year. For comparison, 33 percent of American adults pay for a digital video service such as Netflix, and 22 percent pay for digital audio content, also per Reuters.
• 79 percent: The share of U.S. readers who say they are unlikely to pay for news in the future. That percentage is higher in most European markets, especially Germany (90 percent) and Finland (89 percent), again per Reuters.
• $18 billion: That’s how much print ad revenue U.S. newspapers made in 2016, a 63 percent drop from the $49 billion they earned 10 years prior, according to the News Media Alliance.
• 89 percent: The percentage of digital ad revenue that Google and Facebook claimed together in 2016, according to third-party calculations conducted using Interactive Advertising Bureau data, leaving just 11 percent for the rest of the digital ecosystem.

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