Online is close to overtaking TV as the most popular news source for UK consumers, but only 3.8% of people pay for content online.

According to a study by Oliver and Ohibaum, 68% of UK consumers source news content online compared to 75% from TV and 54% in newspapers.

But though only 3.8% pay for online news, the percentage of users paying for content increases on mobile (9%) and tablet (19%).

The data means that news providers will need to rely on advertising rather than pay walls to bring in revenue – something publisher Johnston Press is aiming to do with its new mobile sites.

It also tallies with figures we reported in December that show that US consumers now spend 65 minutes per day consuming media on their mobile compared to just 26 minutes per day reading newspapers.

The comparatively high number of people paying for content on tablet devices is probably due to the fact that users are likely to have more money to spend and are less price sensitive.

Statistics we reported last month show that iPad conversion rates are twice as high as on desktop, so users are obviously willing to pay for services using their tablet.

Therefore paid-for content on tablet devices could prove to be a good revenue stream for publishers.