My posts about: times paywall
The paywall is up – the Times and Sunday Times have set up their new websites and you now have to register to see them. After 4 weeks, you’ll have to pay (£2 a week or £1 for a day pass). The sites look good, and focus on different packages of doing fewer things but better. The question is, how many will pay …
The reporting may have been lazy, but I've got hold of the actual breakdown of the Times paywall numbers. Including the joint digital/print subs (despite not knowing how many are active), that means they've got 150,000 subscribers to their digital products.
The Guardian is reporting the success of the Times paywall figures: "The hard figures for online subscribers to the The Times and the Sunday Times ... News International announced this morning that 105,000 people have paid to access either the papers' websites and/or the iPad andf Kindle apps."
This figure looks completely meaningless to me. People "paying to access" include those, like me, who have paid for a 24-hour subscription once.
That does not mean we are subscribers.
As I've written elsewhere, there's some confusion over at the Times marketing department about how the paywall works. The basic idea ought to be that if content is behind the Times paywall, people might pay for it. If it's not, they won't.
Before you agree to hand over your money, here are 11 bits of the new Times site you can access for free.
There have been several attempts to work out how many people are paying to access the Times website now its gone behind a paywall. My estimate is: 46,154 a day. This is based on the number of comments on stories compared to other news sites.
I was invited to a preview of the Times / Sunday Times paywall tonight, which revealed some interesting things they're planning.
It also threw up a number of questions - which no doubt they'll be mulling over before the new site goes live. The most difficult one for me is why users would want to pay for two different websites covering the same subjects?
The Times and Sunday Times have made a video about its new paywall. Here it is.
I got an email yesterday about what the Times will be offering once the paywall is up. Here's a screenshot of the main bit.
Johnston Press is dropping the paywall on its local papers, with the number of subscribers said to be in single figures. People have already started to draw conclusions from this.
However, my view is that the Johnston Press experiment tells us precisely nothing about anything. The reason? Johnston Press had implemented its paywall in the worst way possible. All you can learn from this is that a paywall that makes no attempt to sell the content won't sell any subscriptions.