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1) The media industry has been fundamentally altered by the digitization of content, shift to mobile consumption, and rise of social media, which have changed traditional funding models beyond recognition.

2) Kirstine Stewart, Head of Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture at WEF says, "The current coronavirus challenge only emphasizes the indispensable role that media play in society today. With the value of content growing, the industry needs financial models that enable them to fulfil their social functions while still supporting widespread access to critical content."

3) 96% of the global population reads, watches or listens to news and entertainment.

4) 23.6 hours spent viewing media content during a typical week.

5) 60% of consumers of global services are “engaged” (meaning they registered – whether free or paid).

6) 16% pay for news.

7) 53% are willing to pay in the future for news.

8) 2x the number of young people (16-34) in Germany, the UK and the US are likely to pay for news than over 55s.

9) More news is being put behind paywalls, yet low-income groups are less likely to pay for news services - this leads to the worrying trend of increasing information inequalities.

10) A June 2020 Deloitte survey revealed that ~50% of US consumers experience increased frustration over the sheer volume of streamable content and likely pay for just one online news subscription.

11) Key drivers of that frustration include the combination of news providers tightening paywalls and consumers having to now make a choice on their source of news. The result is subscription saturation where consumers are "tired and frustrated by the sheer quantity of content available and the multitude of ways to access it".

CORE PROBLEM

If you boil it down, publishers are totally dependent on outdated payment platforms ignore the needs of most consumers.

When it comes to monetizing online content, publishers have primarily relied on the same two tools for decades—advertising and subscription paywalls.

The first remains in steady decline. The second is a ‘one-size-doesn’t-fit-all’ solution that appeals only to a discrete segment of their potential audience and excludes the majority of consumers.

When publishers target the missing massive middle with paywalls they end up squeezing their own revenue. Why? Because they spend more to reach these reluctant audiences, reduce prices to convince them to subscribe, and earn less from each consumer as they churn and unsubscribe early.

This leaves publishers unable to realize the full revenue potential of their content and consumers trapped into making choices they don't want.

One way to help solve this critical issue facing an entire industry and society at large is with a new type of payment infrastructure that can meet consumer preferences. StreemPay is part of the progression toward a more personalised Internet, one where you can browse seamlessly between sites, picking up value, and paying the costs later.

With this approach, every payment for content becomes individualized to the user's consumption habits and isn't set by the content provider. There is no longer a compromise to be made. Consumers can pay for the content they want when they want it and publishers can unlock a long tail of value in their content.

Catch the World Economic Forum's full report here.