In an earlier post, I called the owner of The Times a "genius" for putting up a pay wall. Today we learned, how much of a genius he is, TechCrunch reports here:
Back in June, News Corp put two more of its newspapers, other than the Wall Street Journal, behind a paywall: The Times of London and the Sunday Times.
We kind of expected it to be a disaster, but now we actually have some results.
The company announced that it signed up 105,000 paying subscribers, plus another 100,000 who were already subscribers to the print newspaper.
But what did the Times lose? According to comScore, the Times UK website saw its online readership decline by 4 million unique visitors a month worldwide to 2.4 million, or a 62 percent drop.
Pageviews fell off an even steeper cliff, plummeting 90 percent from an estimated 41 million in May, 2010 to 4 million in September, 2010.
People did what you’d expect them to do when faced with a paywall at a news site. They said, “No, thanks” and clicked away to another site.
Loosing 90% of your pageviews takes a real genius. The loss in advertising revenue must be big fun to explain.
My guess, shortly the genius will announce, that cost cutting is necessary. I recommend the online stuff starts looking for new jobs now.