by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 12th 2011 7:08pm
With the NY Times offering up its pretend paywall, part of the supposed idea was that the site was trying to figure out a way to retain its traffic and get people to pay -- a difficult balancing act for sure. So the way it did so was to set up a paywall that didn't really exist, hoping that some people would just pay anyway, but that traffic wouldn't decline. So far, it appears they're a bit off on that latter assumption. Some initial reports show that, in the immediate aftermath of the "not really a wall" going up, page views declined between 11 and 30% per day. That's an awful lot of potential ad revenue lost on a site that gets a lot of traffic. Perhaps it's made up by finding people who were willing to pay for the paywall, but if you had to guess which strategy is going to provide more growth going forward, would it be new paywall subscribers, or more ad revenue?
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