Growing number of specialist publishers charge for online content

More than a third of specialist publishers in the UK are charging for online content, the InPublishing/Specialist Media Show survey has found.

Preliminary analysis of the cross industry research found that 34 per cent of publishers provide paywalled content now and 15 per cent plan to so so in the next two years.

The survey, carried out by eDigitalResearch, is backed by the PPA, InPublishing, University of Leicester and Wessenden Marketing. It questioned around 200 MDs, publishers and owners of consumer and B2B niche publishing companies with a turnover of under £10m, asking for their views on paid online content, live events, apps, digital editions, social media and print.

Of the respondents, 89 per cent publish printed magazines, 89 per cent publish online, 70 per cent publish e-newsletters, 47 per cent produce live events and 19 per cent are active on mobile platforms. The findings demonstrated the innovative nature of the specialist sector:

  • 70 per cent are considering running online networking services, 63 per cent webinars, 53 per cent virtual events and 39 per cent distance learning
  • 42 per cent are planning a tablet edition
  • 53 per cent are planning to add video content
  • 34 per cent plan a digital archive – either subs-driven or ad-funded
  • 22 per cent already have a mobile app or are about to launch – a further 15 per cent plan a launch in the next year.  Business models are split between sponsored and paid, with lots of testing in process
  • 16 per cent already charge for web-based digital editions, and a further 12 per cent bundle with a print subscription

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