News

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
newsday, paywall, subscriptions

Companies:
cablevision, newsday



After Three Months, Newsday's Grand Paywall Experiment Has 35 Paying Customers. Yes, 35.

from the no,-really.--35 dept

Like many, we were amazed at the decision by Cablevision to try charging $5 per week (yes, per week) for its paywall to Newsday content online. The newspaper itself is not particularly good and doesn't really provide all that much in the way of excess value compared to what else is out there. And $5/week is extremely high. Yet, even so, we're a bit surprised that after three months, the paper has a grand total of 35 paying subscribers. Yes, 35. I'm sure that extra $175/week comes in quite handy. Oh right, they also saved on the salary of their popular columnist who quit, rather than have his work hidden behind a paywall.

To be fair, Cablevision never really seemed to view this much as a direct source of revenue, but rather as a churn reducer for its cable subscribers, who can get to the Newsday website for free. Still I doubt there are really that many people who decide not to drop their Optimum Cable service just because they get free access to Newsday online. I can't imagine that the $175, in any way, makes up for the drop in visitors and ad revenue. According to multiple online tools, the general estimate is that Newday has lost 50% of its web traffic since putting up the paywall. And in return, they get $175/week. Nice one, Cablevision.

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  1. icon
    a-dub (profile), 27 Jan 2010 @ 9:06am

    What newspaper pays 4mil for a website? Besides the US Gov, Who pays 4mil for a website period?

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