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July 19, 2010 / Alistair

Times paywall attracts just 15,000 paying members

iPad app gets 12,000 users

Figures released today by BeeHiveCity reveal that the Times and Sunday Times website have 15,000 members, each paying £2 per week or £1 per day. Although it must be said that the first month of membership can now be had for £1.

The figures also reveal that the Times iPad app has 12,000 subscribers, each paying £10 per month for six days of content. A dedicated Sunday Times app is still in the works.

Times Online – the website which became the Times and Sundays Times – expected to lose 90% of its traffic, but data released yesterday shows that traffic to the sites has fallen 66 per cent. However it is unclear as to whether this figure includes access to the home page of each site, which is viewable without subscription.

If those 15,000 subscribers are paying the minimum £2 per week, and the iPad users are paying £10 per month, then the Times can expect to generate £240,000 per month, or £2,880,000 per year. Not bad considering the number of subscribers seems to low.

The rest of the newspaper industry will be watching these figures with keen interest and if the paywall is deemed successful, expect to see many more papers dissappear behind paywalls.

Would that be good or bad? Is there a better way? Why not read my in-depth analysis of online paywalls, include interviews with industry insiders here.

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