The Times reveal online readership... feel free to scoff

2 November 2010

Bitterwallet - the new Times

A lot of people have been very interested in the readership figures of The Times after they vanished behind a paywall. Lots of people are still hoping that the paper crashes and burns, while rivals carefully mask their will for it to succeed - so they can follow suit - with well timed sniggers.

And now, for the first time, the publishers of the Times and Sunday Times have revealed how many of us are paying to read their newspapers online or on mobiles.

They reckon that 105,000 people had paid to go behind the papers' new paywalls with a further 100,000 customers having a joint subscription to read the newspapers digitally and in print. That's quite a drop from the 21 million unique users a month that the Times harvested earlier this year.

You have to wonder though, if The Times figures are bumped up a little thanks to their writers announcing that the paywall is down on Twitter once a week, leaving people who don't normally read the paper rushing to see what's been hidden away behind the paywall.

Times editor James Harding told the BBC: "It's very early days but we're hugely encouraged by what we've seen. We're seeing that those people who are reading the digital editions of the Times and the Sunday Times really like them, if they sign up for a trial they tend to stick with us.

"We'd engaged in a quite suicidal form of economics - which was giving our journalism away for free. We knew that if we continued to do that we couldn't invest in reporting. Our concern was would we be cut off from the 'internet conversation', and the truth is we haven't been."

TOPICS:   Technology   UK News


  • Nobby
  • Playback
    When is the bitterwallet paywall coming up then?
  • Tim
    Desperation is them bundling their app and subscription with the JesusPad. Though users of said device without the app yet are likely to sign up anyway if Steve has given his approval so that will boost numbers. They seem quite happy to buy any old crap on the store just because it's there and can make their device look sexy when showing it off to their mates.
  • brian's u.
    why bother to pay for the times when there is an abundance news from other sources like the bbc, guardian, independent...etc.. For specialist information like the FT then I can see there being a market for a paywall but for general news and sport why bother unless you are loaded
  • Alex
    What the Times don't make clear (naughty naughty) is there figures include all those that prepay for the physical newspaper (you get daily coupons to redeem apparently) and get a free online subscription as a benefit. My parents get a coupon sub and I can guarantee neither of them have ever gone behind the paywall.
  • dirty p.
    mmmm watching alexs' parents behind the paywall

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