only a minority prepared to pay for online content

According to a new survey less than a third of consumers would be willing to pay for online news content on News International's The Sun, The News of the World and The Times. The research took into account 1,000 UK consumers and was undertaken

Three-quarters of respondents to the survey said that The Times, The Sun and The News of the World do not produce enough exclusive content to make it worth paying for. Every single person answering the survey said they would not pay for celebrity gossip or sport.

MediaBlog, is an independent website which is run by a group of UK media commentators and bloggers. It also reported that 44% of people agreed, when asked, that newspapers will never successfully charge for online content, readers will simply go elsewhere.

The survey into consumers' attitudes towards paid content follows last week's announcement from News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch that his company will charge users to access its news websites in the UK, US and Australia from next year.

News International also unveiled plans for a standalone Sunday Times website for which it also plans to charge.

The Times came off best in the survey. Twenty-one per cent of respondents said they thought the paper produced exclusive content.

But only four per cent said the same of the News of the World and no one thought The Sun offered anything they would not be able to find elsewhere on the internet.

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