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New Study Finds Generation Z and Millennials OK Paying for News


A new study released by the Media Insight Project by the American Press Institute Tuesday showed Generation Z’ers and Millennials are routinely paying for or donating to different media sources, demonstrating a shift in news consumption in recent years.

According to the report, with journalism continuing to change, a question raised by many is whether news media outlets can create content that consumers want to pay for or donate to directly.

The answer to this question involves the study of the behavior of Millennials and Generation Zers, who have been ignoring legacy news organizations that were once dominant. The study describes the concept of funding news, which examines who pays for or donates to news, how they receive it, and the topics or interests driving their behavior.

The research findings are divided into several sections, the first outlining demographic and attitudinal characteristics toward news among individuals who pay for or donate to media outlets and those who do not.

The second section analyzes Generation Z’ers and Millennials who pay for or donate to online or print newspapers, which is one of the major components of legacy news sources for these two generations.

The third and final section follows the same pattern but for American individuals ages 16 to 40 who pay for or donate to email newsletters, video, or audio content from independent creators that are popular among Gen Z’ers and Millennials.

Using a sample of 6,000 news consumers ages 16-40, analysts found that 60 percent of people under 40 already pay for or donate to news in some fashion.

The study also found that older and younger Millennials paid for and donated to news outlets along with Generation Z’ers. The older individuals were, the more likely they were to pay or donate.

The findings note that 51 percent of Generation Z individuals ages 16-24 paid for and donated to news outlets.

Additionally, 63 percent of young Millennials ages 25-30 and 67 percent of older Millennials ages 32-40 engaged in similar actions.

The findings suggest that if news organizations create content that Millennials and Generation Z’ers enjoy, they will continue to go back to them.

However, the research notes that a significant size of Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than white Generation Z’ers and Millennials to pay for or donate to news, with 60 percent of Asian Americans paying for or donating to various news sources.

The research notes that those who report paying or donating to news outlets do so through print or online magazines, print or online newspapers, online news apps, nonprofit news websites, email newsletters from independent creators, and video or audio content from independent creators or influencers through social media websites.

According to analysts, news organizations should evaluate reasons why Gen Z’ers and Millennials pay for or donate to the newspaper and other legacy sources, given that many have paid for or donated to support email newsletters or content from independent creators. Some of the reasons, according to researchers, include the authenticity of individual voices, the formats or style of content, and the multiple ways individuals can support creators through recurring one-time subscription payments.

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