One year after it introduced digital charges, News Corp.’s Times Newspapers in the UK says it has 101,036 digital subscribers across the web, tablets and e-readers.
Since the £2 weekly subscription subscription is billed as £8.66 per month, this would seem to give the publisher £874,971 in monthly paid digital revenue.
In fact, it could be more than that, since subscriptions originated on iPad cost more, £9.99. A small proportion of the subscribers are actually Groupon users who recently took out a discounted three-month subscription, which knocks down the total revenue slightly for the time being.
(NB. New customers are charged only £1 for the month).
The publisher is especially keen on tablets. “The Times is downloaded onto an average of 35,000 iPads every day, an increase of 40% in the 4 months since February,” its announcement says. “The average for The Sunday Times is 31,000, an increase of 41%.”
One year on, some industry chatter points to an acknowledgment that, on the web, The Times put too much behind the wall and might have been better off with a piecemeal paid strategy.
iPad consumers are significant within the total subscriber base. The Times’ paid strategy has been running as long as the iPad has been out, so naturally some of its success must be attributed to the popularity of the new device and not purely the availability of The Times.
The total digital subscriptions number is up from 50,000 in November 2010 and 79,000 this March.
News International CEO Rebekah Brooks: “One year on from launch we have proved that people are willing to pay for quality journalism in digital formats. Many doubted if our digital strategy would be successful, here is unequivocal proof it is moving in that direction.”