Consumers Seek To Bypass Paywalls On Publishing Sites: Study

Consumers have become wise to paywalls and are evading them whenever they can, according to a study released last week by Toolkits and National Research Group.   

Of those polled, 53% attempt to bypass paywalls on publishers’ websites. And 69% avoid clicking through when they know the site has one.  

Even 66% of readers who pay for at least one digital subscription attempt to get around paywalls. 

The most common way of getting around paywalls are: 

  • Searching for the content on a different website—40%
  • Using paywall evasion app or browser extension—36% 
  • Deleting cookies or browser history—27%
  • Opening the website in a new browser or on a different device—23% 
  • Opening the website in an incognito browser (or similar service)—22%



Clearly, consumers resent paywalls. Sixty-six percent say that locked content will cause them to dislike a website or publication. And 53% will leave a site if asked to share their email address. 

Moreover, 70% have signed up for a free subscription with no intent of paying when the trial expires.  

But 43% say they are more likely to pay if the website has allowed them to view some content for free.  

In the interest of full disclosure, the reporter was asked by Toolkit to provide an email address to continue reading. 

Toolkit and National Research Group surveyed 2,509 U.S. consumers. 

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