The Times paywall leads to 66pc drop in traffic


20 Jul 2010

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Following Rupert Murdoch’s implementation of a paywall for access to The Times online content, Experian Hitwise has reported a 66pc drop in online readership.

Charging UK£1 per day or UK£2 per week for access to its website since the introduction of the paywall on 2 July, The Times has experienced a two-thirds loss in online readers, according to readership figures from Experian Hitwise.

Interestingly, Experian Hitwise found that traffic to the website had been dropping even prior to charging for access due to the introduction of mandatory user registration (free until 2 July) in mid-June.

An analysis of The Times‘ paywall by media news site Beehivecity.com looks at what is being charged for access to online content, factoring in the iPad app that costs UK£10 (€13.99) per month and comes up with some interesting figures: "The typical print reader (£26) is worth at least two and a half times (£10) the average online reader. And the figure could be more like three times."

Over on The Guardian, Josh Halliday claims The Times has lost almost 90pc of is online readership when compared to reader figures in February when you factor in the numbers that registered in June prior to the implementation of the paywall, and the number of those that actually went on to pay.