NYT's Gets 100,000 Subscribers To The Paywall... But It's Too Early To Tell If That Means Anything

from the let's-wait-and-see dept

With the NYT's latest earnings is the news that it's been able to sign up 100,000 people for its new not-really-a-paywall. However, even the NYT seems to admit it has no idea what this number really means, since many of those include discounted offerings, and there's no clear indication whether or not those people will stick around later. In fact, as reader Ragaboo suggests, the NYT was using Groupon to push super cheap subscriptions over the past few weeks, leading to speculation that it was looking for a last minute "push" to boost its numbers. Separately, we'd already seen that automaker Lincoln was offering people free subscriptions as well. So, while this is an interesting bit of data, it'll be more interesting to see what happens next. The other interesting tidbit is that digital ad revenue grew 4.5%, which seems slower than some other online properties lately, and which certainly raises questions about whether the paywall is harming online ad growth -- especially considering the rather substantial drop in traffic. Given that online ad revenue continues to rise, and subscriptions to the paper continue to drop, it still appears like the NYT is betting on the wrong horse in this race.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Aaron Martin-Colby (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    Poor numbers

    Considering the sheer size of the Times' market, if they only got 100,000 people even with "ballot stuffing" marketing, then it's undoubtedly very disappointing for them.

    Granted, as I'm sure many people online pointed out, the conversion rate that they were hoping for was just insane. On today's internet, conversion rates of less than 1% are the norm. No matter how valuable you think that you are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Atkray (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 10:56pm

    I heard this this morning and they also mentioned the stock was dropping. (looks like it closed down over 2%)

    Apparently Mike, you are better at spreading FUD than we suspected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 11:54pm

    Re:

    BUT....BUT...HANDOUTS!

    Wait, no that doesn't work.

    BUT...BUT...INTERBUTTZ!

    Nonono, that's not right either.

    I'm struggling, can soemone give me a hand here?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Fzzr (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re:

    But FREE IS NOT A BUSINESS MODEL

    How about that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 2:05am

    That's at least 99,900+ more people than would pay for Techdirt.

    "I wouldn't have bought it anyway" does actually apply in some situations...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:06am

    Re:

    Whoosh! That might be an insult if it wasn't so ignorant of the overall issues at play here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Jay S (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: NYT's Gets 100,000 Subscribers To The Paywall

    The first time I got their "We hope you enjoyed your 20" pop-up, I dropped them from my news feeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    Yawn. Your quality really is slipping TAM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    Oh snap! Oh no you didn't sister! Uh huh! Burrrrn! Etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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