The New York Times Paywall Has Been a Success

By Deane Barker on August 28, 2012

The New York Times Reports a Digital Success Story: This is both surprising and impressive.

The company has more than 530,000 paying subscribers for its digital editions, and it credits the plan with a consistent increase in circulation dollars. […] the paper will have more digital subscribers than print subs within a couple of years.

[…] that most of the digital subscribers to date seem to be new customers. So all of this is incremental revenue. That’s a best-case scenario for the paper.

Subscription revenue now surpasses advertising revenue:

At the company’s big three papers — the Times, International Herald Tribune, and Boston Globe — print and digital ad dollars dipped 6.6 percent to $220 million, while circulation revenue was up 8.3 percent to $233 million.

I have flirted with becoming a subscriber on several occasions.  These numbers may push me over the edge and make me take the plunge, but I can’t put my finger on why.  Did I just want to see if it would succeed?  Did I not want to be an early adopter if it didn’t?  Have the masses validated my desire?  I honestly don’t know.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. Well, their “paywall” is a cinch to get around: http://euri.ca/2011/03/get-around-new-york-times-20-article-limit/

    I don’t feel bad at all for using this since they’ve constructed their site in such a way that you don’t even need to be logged in to verify permission (which of course is so that links from google and twitter will always show the article.) I even saw another article where someone from NYT knew that such a workaround exists, but they were willing to deal with it since most computer users wouldn’t know better. But for those of us who do, the choice is clear: NYClean FTW.

  2. Then, if you think about it, it’s been doubly successful — people who were never inclined to pay for it can still read the content, and people who were inclined to pay for it will pay.

    Everyone wins.

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