Re: "Most people won't pay for content..."
I don’t even think it’s as complex as people only read it because it’s “free” as in money vs explicit payment eg “paywall”.
I suspect a further major contribution is that many other sites generally have the same content in a slightly different form (although not even that sometimes) so why would I pay site A to read content I can also read on site B, C, and D.
If you’ve ever used a news aggregation app you soon realise they’re not useful because you get every article 10 times... and not in a way where you are getting substantially different views or angles on a piece.
So really, why would I pay?