Friday, November 5, 2010

Update on Newspaper Pay Walls

Golly it has been a while since my last post, sorry guys, moved from the world of consulting to a real job and rather taken my mind off the normal things of life, like blogging. But that has bought some time for paywalls to get a grip and now I can comment on the success or otherwise of them.

And success it appears to be for The Times, with envious results, the paper has 105,000 paying digital-only subscribers, as well as a further 100,000 joint print and digital subscriptions.

Around 50,000 of the digital-only subscribers are monthly and include subscribers to the website, iPad app and Kindle edition. The rest are either single copy or pay-as-you go customers. Last week's Neilsen figures showed that the number of unique visitors declined 42.6% from Q2 to Q3. So why do I still think is success? Because they still managed to keep 51.8% and got them to pay. Not only that they now have a relationship with the subscribers they now have incredibly valuable data on the subscribers and their reading habits; great consumer understanding and the consumers are paying News International to give the newspaper the data.

The Times is backed by a large enough organisation that this trial could take place with lower risk than some smaller publications. It also has another huge benefit that helped them be successful, quality journalism.