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Trend of paying for online news catching on in several countries
Results of a survey of 11,000 Internet users in nine countries over the last 10 months indicates that more people are willing to pay to read online news, and they also expect that in the future news on the internet will not be free, and they will most likely pay for the service.

The survey results were based on online polls as commissioned by Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), and were carried out in the US, the UK, Spain, France, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Italy, and urban Brazil. The age group of 25-34 was found the most willing to pay for online news in all the nine countries that were surveyed.  About one-fourth of the age group was in the annual income bracket of 25,000 to 50,000 pounds, and this partly accounted for their willingness to pay for online news.

Among those who were not currently paying for news, about 14 per cent said that they were likely to make the decision to pay for digital news. While in the UK this figure was just 5 per cent, in Brazil it was a huge 58 per cent.

Of course, one of the key findings is not just the increased willingness to pay but also the rate at which such users are increasing. As compared to last year, of the 2,000 internet users polled in the UK, 9 per cent had paid for online news compared to only 4 per cent in 2012.

"We're starting to see significant shifts in public attitudes to online news, with more people starting to pay for digital news or seeming to accept that in future they will probably have to pay for a service that they currently get for free," said study author Nic Newman, a research associate at the RISJ and digital strategist, reported The Guardian.

The study found that in the UK and Denmark, traditional news brands hold sway in the market - and these control 80 per cent of online readers. But in Japan and the US - specialist news and news aggregating websites are more popular than the traditional brands in the respective countries.

Online polling also revealed that the mobile phone had become the top medium to source and read news while on the go as compared to paper-based news sources, and surpassing by a long distance, even tabs and notebooks.  

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