NYT hails digital growth

25 July 2011

NEW YORK: The New York Times has attracted nearly 225,000 subscribers to its digital service since establishing a paywall in March 2011.

In its latest financial results, the US newspaper group said there are a further 57,000 readers who now pay to receive The Times, its flagship title, via platforms such as Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook.

A total of 224,000 people thus currently pay to access NYTimes.com, while a further 765,000 readers have a print subscription with linked digital access.

Revenues from online subscriptions are expected to grow as the paywall's introductory rate of 99 cents for the first month expires and readers begin to pay the full price, which starts from $15 for four weeks worth of access.

On a conference call, Janet Robinson, the company's CEO, said: "The positive consumer response to the digital subscription packages is a strong indication of the value that users place on our high-quality news, analysis and commentary."

"We are pleased with how this initiative is rolling out, in particular performance of key metrics, including the volume of paid digital subscriptions, overall traffic rates and digital advertising revenues."

Under the current system, web users can access a total of 20 free articles per month before being required to pay for access to the newspaper's website.

Overall online ad revenues for the New York Times Company rose by 2.6% year on year in the second quarter of 2011. This helped to counterbalance the 6.4% drop in income from print advertising.

Total company revenues stood at $576.7m, down 2.2% from $589.6m, reflecting an overall 4% downturn in advertising revenues.

Data sourced from The New York Times and Adage; additional content by Warc staff