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Tablet Computer Users Still Won't Pay for News
CNBC.com | October 25, 2011 | 05:06 PM EDT

The rapid adoption of tablet computers like Apple’s iPad has not reversed the slide in paying customers for news, as many media company executives had hoped the devices would.

Only 14 percent of tablet news users are paying directly for content on the device, according to an extensive survey from the Pew Research Center’s Project for excellence in Journalism .“In some ways news content on portable devices will go the same way as digital music did a decade or so ago with proliferation of high speed internet and personal computers,” said Dan Nathan, trader and editor of RiskReversal.com. “For a long while people thought they were entitled to it. It wasn’t until it was cheaper and easily accessible through iTunes that people actually bought it.”

If media companies need to make the content cheaper still, that means crushing layoffs and cost-cutting measures in the news business may not be over yet.

Shares of the New York Times and News Corp are down 70 percent and 21 percent over the last five years. Conversely, Google shares are up more than 30 percent and Apple’s stock has appreciated five-fold over the same period.

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