A new study from the Reuters Institute at Oxford University has found that there seems to be a co-relation between users with media subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify and the willingness to pay for online news.
Naturally, legacy media executives are already starting to misinterpret the findings to fit into their own worldview.
A willingness to pay is not a blanket willingness to pay. Willingness to pay is directly associated with value.
And there is just a huge difference between paying a subscription for an evergreen back catalogue of music or movies and then paying for clickbait that rots in less than 30 seconds after publishing.
On the other hand with an established willingness to pay, there is room to ask oneself in the news industry:
“Ok, how can we take a page out of the playbook from Netflix, Spotify and/or others and apply that in our context?”
What you will get from such an exercise is an imminent need to rethink the product to make it more based on perceived customer value.
And – importantly – stop trying to force the public to pay for you being able to maintain a model that is if not completely dead then terminal.
That takes a huge mind shift internally in the media organizations. A mind shift they have so far proven unwilling and thus unable to make.
It has nothing – nothing – to do with willingness to pay.