Paywall Drives Off 98.8% of Times Readers

Former employee reports that only 15K have agreed to pay
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 12:34 PM CDT
Paywall Drives Off 98.8% of Times Readers
A screenshot from the Times website, requiring a login for further access.   (Times)

What has putting up a paywall done for the folks at the Times? Driven away most of their readers, predictably. Only 150,000 signed up for “Times+” accounts, and only 15,000 of them actually agreed to pay when their free trial ran out, according to an unconfirmed report on Beehive City, written by former Times media correspondent Dan Sabbagh. "This figure, apparently, is considered disappointing,” he writes.

And with good reason. Based on those figures only 12% of the Times pre-paywall readership was even willing to sign up for the free trial, according to PaidContent, and only 10% of that group actually decided to pay, meaning a slim 1.2% of original readers have agreed to pony up. Even during the free month, visits fell 58%; they were down by 67% once the paywall went up—which might actually be better-than-expected. It also has 12,500 iPad customers, which is a pretty nice number given the relatively low number of iPad owners. (Read more paywall stories.)

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