User registration: About half comply

By Steve Outing

A short while back I mentioned a Pew study about online news, on which I’d gotten a partial preview that included information about website user-registration habits. The full report came out last week, so I plucked out what little additional data there was about registration.

Overall, 45% of Internet users say they have filled out a website user-registration form in order to view free content. Of those Internet users who say that they have ever gone online to get news and information, 53% say they have registered at a website. (Numbers are a few points higher for broadband users vs. all Internet users.)

First, that’s a huge portion of the online population that won’t register to get free information. That should tell news publishers that they’re missing a lot of traffic if they’re still using mandatory user registration on their websites. (I’m not anti-registration; I am pro-voluntary user registration.)

Second, there was no information in this Pew study about the accuracy of the registration data that people submit. If 53% of online news consumers do fill out registration requests, what percentage of that data is accurate? … Won’t someone, PLEASE, study this?!

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!