Factors Influencing Subscribers' Voluntary Payment Behavior on an Online News Site: Focusing on the Role of Appreciation

온라인 뉴스 사이트에서 독자의 자발적 구독료 지불행위에 영향을 미치는 요인에 대한 연구: 공감의 역할을 중심으로

  • 이형주 (아주대학교 일반대학원 경영정보학과) ;
  • 이호성 (아주대학교 일반대학원 경영정보학과) ;
  • 양성병 (아주대학교 경영대학 e-비즈니스학과)
  • Received : 2013.07.18
  • Accepted : 2013.11.01
  • Published : 2013.12.01


As online communities proliferate, online news sites have received great attention in news media research. Although most of the online news sites provide contents for free, some have adopted the Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) model by offering a voluntary payment option to the readers. In this study, we investigate the factors which influence subscribers' voluntary payment behavior on an online news site. Drawing upon both the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) framework and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), we hypothesize that appreciation has a direct effect on the subscribers' voluntary payment behavior, whereas central factors (positive emotional content, cognitive content) and peripheral factors (news sharing, news article length) of the news articles have indirect impacts on voluntary payment behavior through the enhanced appreciation. Based on an empirical analysis of 172 news articles from the Korean online news site that adopted the PWYW pricing model (i.e., Ohmynews.com), we find that appreciation plays a critical role in voluntary payment behavior and that peripheral factors have significant impacts on appreciation. However, the impacts of central factors on appreciation are not found. By identifying influencing factors of subscribers' voluntary payment behavior on online news sites for the first time, this paper suggests a prospective alternative profit model for online news providers faced with fierce competition.