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An online survey of 1700 Canadians by the University of British Columbia has found that Canadians prefer their online news to be free. This survey comes less than a month after the New York Times initiated their trial run to charge for online content. 81 per cent of the respondents said they would not pay to read online news. 90% said they would find free alternatives even if their favorite news websites started charging. Even if all news were to come with pay walls, only 30% said they would then agree to pay.

These findings demonstrate the need for media companies and newspaper to think long and hard about converting to paid structures, as consumers appear to be unwilling to subscribe to online news at a fee. Online surveys are a great way for businesses to measure consumers' attitudes towards changes in pricing structure being making these changes permanently.

Because of this market research by universities using online surveys, we can see that very few news corporations have begun using pay walls for their online content. Users have shown little incentive to sign up for paid online news as surveys like this one have continued to accurately measure consumer preferences.

Without running these research surveys, news corporations run the risk of losing loyal customers and eliminating traffic to their websites through ill- advised moves to paid-content only online models.

Online surveys avoid the bias of face-to-face interviews-the University avoided pressuring Canadians into saying they would pay, even when they knew that they wouldn't.

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The results are more accurate and the University is able to survey a wider-range of people in order to gain a realistic picture for the opinion of Canadians about paid news online.

Start measuring consumer preferences accurately today by using online surveys. With fast results and instant data analysis, your business can begin measuring customer satisfaction and preferences within minutes.

Sources: news-are-unwilling-pay comes-down

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