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May 12, 2009, 9:01 p.m.

Price Waterhouse hedges its bets

From Price Waterhouse Coopers, the folks who count the ballots for the Oscars, comes a report called Newspaper Outlook 2009 (PDF), presenting results of a seven-nation survey they undertook with the World Association of Newspapers. While it reassures that “[n]ewspapers have a long-term future and will coexist with other media,” it hedges that bet with: “[T]his is unlikely to be either in the formats or volumes seen today and there will some casualties and losses of well-known papers along the way.” In a factoid quoted variously as positive and negative, PwC found that 62 percent of consumers are willing to pay for online news.  But the report itself qualifies this finding as well:

This does not mean that they would actually buy online content at this amount however. Free content is abundant online and consumers would choose free content when the quality was comparable or sufficient for their purpose. On average, respondents expressed no willingness to pay for general news and background information on e-paper or mobile devices, and they do not see them as alternatives for full newspapers.

POSTED     May 12, 2009, 9:01 p.m.
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