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Giving It Away for Free: The Future for Content Providers

8/04/15 6:18 PM EDT
Will other big content providers follow the lead of the New York Times by offering content for free, especially in an effort to win over younger readers? Some analysts say the big news publishers will be forced to do whatever it takes to expand their readership, especially to attract younger readers who usually hate to visit homepages and hate to pay. Others, like S&P's Tuna Amobi, say it's understandable that big content providers haven't been more aggressive in trying to win over Millennials. 'There's some reluctance that once readers migrate to free, it's going to be harder to get them paying. And that's true to some extent especially in this era of the commoditization of news,' Amobi says. Analysts say they expect that to change, slowly, over time especially as traditional revenue streams, like advertising, continue to dry up. Amobi says 'These younger readers have so many more options to get their news. So I think ultimately it comes down to each company's ability to provide compelling enough content that will keep readers engaged.' A recent Pew survey found 60% of 18 to 34 year-olds get some political news on Facebook compared with just 17% who get some political news from the New York Times.
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