Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Yes, people will pay for online access, but how many? Turns out, not many

There's been precious little data to back up publishers' contention that putting up paywalls on their websites will separate the serious readers from the cheapskate rabble. Well, now there is some data in, from News Corp's Times and Sunday Times and, according to a post on Gigaom, the results are not pretty.
Essentially, the two papers which had 3 million unique online visitors a month before the paywall went up have managed to convince 50,000 people to pay to subscribe online, not counting the 100,000 or so who are print subscribers who get the service free. Those 50,000 who are paying represent not quite 1.7% of the previous measured online audience.
News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks, meanwhile, said that the company was pleased with the results, and that “each of our digital subscribers is more engaged and more valuable to us than very many unique users of the previous model.”



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