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Nearly 40% of Execs Pay for Digital News

Brand reputation the No. 1 reason business executives pay for digital news

June 20, 2014

Publishers may be relying on ads—not subscriptions—for digital revenue growth, but there’s one group of readers who may help fuel earnings: business executives. According to a March 2014 study conducted by Quartz, 37% of business executives worldwide paid for digital news.

Business Executives Worldwide Who Pay for Digital News, by Industry, March 2014 (% of respondents)

Finance execs were the most likely to pay for digital news, with 47% of respondents from that industry saying they did so. Two in five respondents from consulting, media and advertising, and tech firms paid for such content.

Brand reputation was the top reason business executives worldwide paid for digital news, cited by 46% of respondents, and accessing exclusive information came in a close second. Quality was also critical in driving more digital dollars from business executives.

Reasons that Business Executives Worldwide Pay for Digital News, March 2014 (% of respondents)

Quartz found that business execs spent a large amount of time each day consuming news: At least 75% of respondents spent at least 30 minutes doing so, and an impressive 36% spent more than 1 hour with news each day.

eMarketer estimates that the average time US adults spend per day reading hard copy newspapers will drop 22.2% this year, from 18 minutes in 2013 to 14 minutes, while digital will grab 5 hours 46 minutes of daily media time. As digital becomes the new normal, it’s likely that it is grabbing some of that physical newspaper time, which could fuel future growth in digital news purchases.

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