Since earlier this year, if you want to read more than 20 articles a month on nytimes.com, you have to either pay for a print subscription, pay for a digital subscription, or figure out another way to gain access. The early results are in, and the Grey Lady is doing well with its paywall, which costs at least $200 a year to.
According to the Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum, they have created 224,000 regular subscribers, another 57,000 iPad readers, and more have been added via a promotion from Lincoln cars (where the company purchased ads in exchange for free digital subs) as well as its 750,000 print subscribers.
There is some hope for the newspaper after all. “It proves that, contra the naysayers, readers will pay good money for quality news. The anti-paywall folks said paywalls would kill traffic and slash digital ad revenues. The NYT is showing that idea was wrong,” says Chittum.
Digital ad revenue grew by 16% in the first three months that the paywall was up. While this figure includes both the Times and the Boston Globe, and some probably includes the Lincoln promo, most of that revenue increase is from the Times.