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.

Filed Under: newsday, paywall, subscriptions
Companies: cablevision, newsday

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  1. identicon
    RD, 27 Jan 2010 @ 10:16am

    TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    "35 is the number of paid subscribers who are not cable subscribers. I would be interested to see what the actual number of cable subscribers who have access is. It would also be very interesting to see if by focusing on their local market (no outside visitors) that they have been able to increase the bottom line of their online operation. Ad income per user should in theory be up, no?"

    Um, no, dumbshit. Where do you get your reasoning from? Are you just SO completely indoctrinated by your corporate masters to be a complete shill no matter what that you just spew ANYTHING as long as its contradictory? Sheesh.

    Try to follow along here. People who are subscribers to cable get this free anyway. So, they dont factor into the loss as they keep getting it regardless. The loss comes from those who used to come, but who arent customers of the cable or internet (or whatever the criteria is to get it included). Now, I think its safe to say (reasoning, again) that they likely had a BIT more than 35 visitors (who arent already customers) to the site prior to the paywall. Given that a lot of this stuff is driven by advertising to eyeballs that see the page, this sort of loss is probably significant. Someone mentioned 700k readers lost. Dont know if thats true, but it a sure bet that its a LOT more than 35.

    Defending sticking their news behind a paywall, then losing all but 35 visitors/eyeballs, then having the gall to suggest this is an IMPROVEMENT in their income-per-user is unconscionable, disingenous, and only proves beyond doubt that you are a bought-and-paid-for corporate shill, with no doubt any longer.

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