London Newspaper Subscription Numbers

By Deane Barker on November 3, 2010

Times and Sunday Times readership falls after paywall: Two major London papers switched to a subscription model and are doing…okay.

Publishers of the Times and Sunday Times have revealed for the first time how many people are paying to read their newspapers online or on mobiles. They said that figures stood at 105,000.

It’s better than expected, but I don’t know if that’s enough to bankroll a paper.  The subscription is about $16 a month, or $192 a year.  That’s $20 million a year in revenue.  Certainly better than anyone could have hoped, but time will tell if it’s enough.

I really thank Rupert Murdoch for embarking on this experiment.  The industry was waiting for someone to try this for the long term, and Murdoch has the deep pockets to see it through to the end.  Win or lose, at least we’ll finally have some solid metrics and a large-scale, representative example so we know if the subscription model is viable.



  1. I think there is some validity to the Slashdot rant, “Murdoch is just doing this to prove that linking to his content is STEALING!!1!11!!!”.

    However, I’m not sure he’s that much of an idealogue (though it often seems that way); he is a pretty successful businessman… if it looks like the “free plus advertising” model is much more profitable, he may switch back.

    Time will tell…

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