New York Times Paywall Reaches Massive Success

Digital Publishing News for November 6, 2013

Publishers were initially skeptical about The New York Times charging for online content. We now see that the paywall has worked beautifully. In the last three months, 28,000 new subscribers are paying for The New York Times’ online content. This brings the total to 727,000 subscribers.

Furthermore, this is bringing in more revenue than digital ads. Ryan Chittum writes, “Even bigger, the Times’s paywall revenue has soared past its digital ad revenue. Digital subscriptions brought in $37.7 million in the third quarter, while digital ads brought just $32.9 million. When you consider the print-boosting effects of the paywall, which I’d estimate very (very) roughly at several million dollars a quarter, the paywall looks even better.”

It’s clear that enough revenue can be generated through interested readers.

Digital Traffic Reaches New Heights for Newspapers

According to MediaPost, “71% of the country’s adult population” visited a newspaper website or used a newspaper mobile app during the month of September. This was a record and an increase of 11% since June.

Erik Sass writes, “September was the busiest month ever for newspapers in terms of digital traffic, with 141 million U.S. adults visiting a newspaper Web site or using a newspaper mobile app.”

We’ll keep an eye out for even more growth in the coming months and report any of the findings.


Trade Publications are Getting Revamped

While traveling some of the roads paved by other successful publishers, trade publications are starting to host events and offer sponsorships. These are being an air of freshness to an area of publishing that can lack in excitement.

Josh Sternberg writes, “Bisnow Media, for example, publishes 31 online newsletters in 24 U.S. markets aimed at local real estate. It has also experimented with hosting events – a scheme that has proven lucrative for some mainstream publishers. It put on 250 events in 2012 alone, selling more than 60,000 tickets. At $70 a ticket, that’s about $4.2 million in revenue, comprising 40 percent of Bisnow’s business.”

Bisnow is also publishing more short-form content, filled with photos.

Do You Know Which Audience Consumes Tablet Content the Most?

If you guessed the gaming community, you are correct!

Want to know what else is pretty interesting? For the first time in history, tablets will be used by the majority of the US Internet population.

According to eMarketer, “US tablet gamers will be the largest tablet content audience included in our forecast. Three-quarters of tablet users will play games regularly on such a device. eMarketer estimates that between 2013 and 2017, the number of tablet gamers will rise from 96.1 million to 143.0 million. Percentage gains will come in at 49.2% this year and will remain in the double-digits through 2015.”

Business Insider Hires New Editor

Aaron Gell, formerly of New York Observer, was hired by Business Insider to help take over long-form content. Henry Blodget, the founder and CEO of Business Insider, was quoted on FishbowlNY saying, “He is a highly experienced editor with great ideas, and the writers he has worked with rave about him,” said Blodget. “Aaron’s mission will be to help us produce in-depth features that our readers love, and we can’t wait for him to start.”

We wish Gell all the best in his new position.


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