69% of Consumers Avoid Paywalled Sites According to New Study

The rise of the internet made it so that a breath-taking variety of content was available to consumers at all times, but it posed some problems for the publishers of this content. Many publishers now choose to put a lot of content behind paywalls because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up forcing users to pay if they want to read the hidden articles. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it seems that most users are unwilling to pay, and paywalls might actually alienate many consumers.

A survey of over 2,500 US based consumers conducted by the National Research Group in collaboration with Toolkits revealed that over half of these consumers try to circumvent paywalls. 53% of consumers stated that they do this, and 69% even said that they avoid clicking on links if they know the sites that they lead to hide content behind paywalls.

53% of consumers also stated that they usually leave a website when they encounter a paywall, so the use of these restrictive measures might lead to lower traffic for sites than might have been the case otherwise. However, sites that publish content might still use this method since it is currently the only way to generate revenue from said content with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Around 70% of consumers who sign up for a free trial cancel their subscription before the trial period expires. There is clearly a lot of hesitation among consumers when it comes to paying for content, and publishers must find new ways to generate revenue that does not keep necessary content restricted unless a payment is made. There are ways to bypass paywalls, and savvy consumers are always willing to research them and use them when possible.

As more and more content starts to get paywalled, we might see a rising trend of consumers looking for ways to bypass them. This could give rise to new browser extensions that can help with that, similarly to how online ads are blocked by the use of ad blockers.
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