Study Finds Paywall Resistance Decreasing, But Most Buyers Want ‘Freemium’ Model

Good news for paywall and subscription site execs: audience resistance to paywalls seems to be decreasing! According to a recent study of digital media

Good news for paywall and subscription site execs: audience resistance to paywalls seems to be decreasing!According to a recent study of digital media professionals by DigiCareers, 42% said that they would research pricing if they hit a paywall, while 52% said they would immediately leave the site. While that’s not the most desirable number, it’s definitely a sign that there’s a growing acceptance of paywalls and paid content, especially since only 25% of respondents said they had a negative perception of sites that use paywalls.What’s most interesting is that 90% of respondents said they expect a “freemium” Model, where they can sample some of the site’s content. In addition, 63% said they expect no ads behind a paywall, although 61% said they’d put up with non-intrusive advertising if it dropped the subscription price.However, a freemium Model may not be as good an idea as a paywalled site with a separately branded free blog, as Golf Odyssey found out. And advertising behind a paywall may be palatable to your audience if it comes in the form of helpful, free white papers, as Gantthead discovered.The decreasing resistance to paywalls and paid content is good news. But discovering what Model works best for your site will take some trial and error. Don’t be dissuaded and start giving away your content for free. Eventually your paid employees will appreciate your business acumen and your audience will value your high-quality content enough to pay for it.

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