Netflix or news? An examination of young Canadians’ appetite to pay for online journalism
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Subjectdigital journalism; digital media; information surplus; online news; uses and gratifications; willingness to pay
This thesis explores factors that influence the willingness to pay (WTP) of young Canadian adults for digital journalistic/news content using the uses and gratifications (U&G) approach. U&G is a user-centred theory of examining how people use media to satisfy needs and desires. Using semi-structured interviews with 13 participants in the 18 to 34 age cohort as a data collection method, it emerged that the willingness to pay for online journalism/news content is currently low, although some participants are open to paying for online news that they would consider to be unique, or of high enough quality. Those who were not open to paying point to the non-exclusivity of online news as the chief reason. Participants appeared more willing to pay for non-journalism/news digital media, such as Netflix. Findings suggest that charging money for online journalism in this age cohort in Canada will be challenging given the multiplicity of media choices they have.
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