"New research from Experian Hitwise suggests that 54,000 people a month are accessing content behind the paywall of The Times", Press Gazette reported.The article refers to research commissioned by Guardian News and Media, which was published internally by the company yesterday.
The GNM memo says, as Press Gazette reported, that they "estimate that a total of about 54,000 people globally are accessing content behind the paywall on the Times [and Sunday Times] website each month. Of the 54,000, approximately 28,000 are specifically paying for digital content. The remainder are print subscribers who get free access to the site as part of their newspaper subscription package."
The new figures released are the first to be published after the official ones released at the beginning of November, by News International, the parent's company of the Times, owned by Murdoch's News Corp. Those figures claimed 105,000 online customers, the half of these being monthly subscribers, including in this number subscribers to the websites and to the Times's iPad app and Kindle editions.
"According to the GMN memo", Press Gazette says, "their research suggests that 2.36 per cent of UK visitors to the www.thetimes.co.uk domain in September went on to access content behind the paywall".
"Pre-paywall", Press Gazette notes, "the Times had around 20 million unique website visitors per month, according to figures from ABCe."
The Times and its sister paper the Sunday Times went behind an online paywall last July. The cost to access is £1 a day or £2 a week , while the iPad app costs £9.99 a month. It is the most impenetrable paywall model, while others English-language newspapers, such as the New York Times, which is going to start a paid model in January, are planning to adopt more flexible models, where readers can access for free a certain number of articles each month before being asked to pay. On the contrary the Washington Post has declared it will not install a pawwall for the moment.
Paid online content is becoming a key area of experimentation for the Murdoch newspapers - after the Times and the Sunday Times also News of the World went behind a paywall and the Wall Street Journal-style paywall is going to be applied also at his Australian newspapers.
Source: Press Gazette