Times Of London Erects Pay Wall, Locks Out Most Of Its Readership

Cash-strapped fishwraps all over the world are watching the Times of London’s new content paywall business model. How’s that working out for them? Depending on how you look at the numbers and whether you value total visitors or pageviews, the newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., lost either two-thirds or 90 percent of their online readership since the pay walls were erected.

That’s about standard for general-interest publications (as opposed to more niche publications like News Corp’s own Wall Street Journal) that erect a paywall. Executives expect

The figures are also unlikely to surprise some executives at the Times: the Sunday Times’s editor, John Witherow, predicted in May that “perhaps more than 90%” of pre-registration readers were likely to be lost once the registration-only service was implemented.

An outside estimate claims that there are about 15,000 paid subscribers to the Times, who would generate £1.4 million ($2.1 million) per year if they maintain their subscriptions and pay the £2 ($3) per week recurring subscription charge.

Fortunately, one of the Times’ most worthwhile offerings, John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman’s delightful podcast, The Bugle podcast, remains free. For now.

Murdoch’s Times Web Visits Drop to One Third as Paywall Starts [BusinessWeek]
Times loses almost 90% of online readership [The Guardian]

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