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.



  1. Well, their “paywall” is a cinch to get around:

    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.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.