The Times has lost almost 90% of its online readership compared to February since making registration mandatory in June, calculations by the Guardian show.
Unregistered users of thetimes.co.uk are now “bounced” to a Times+ membership page where they have to register if they want to view Times content. Data from the web metrics company Experian Hitwise shows that only 25.6% of such users sign up and proceed to a Times web page; based on custom categories (created at the Guardian) that have been used to track the performance of major UK press titles online, visits to the Times site have fallen to 4.16% of UK quality press online traffic, compared with 15% before it made registration compulsory on 15 June.
These figures can then be used to model how this may impact on the number of users hitting the new Times site. Based on the last available ABCe data for Times Online readership (from February 2010), which showed that it had 1.2 million daily unique users, and Hitwise’s figures showing it had 15% of UK online newspaper traffic, that means a total of 332,800 daily users trying to visit the Times site.
Il dato interessante da capire è se la perdita degli accessi, e delle entrate pubblicitarie del sito free è pareggiata o meno dai ricavi del sito pay
It is not clear whether the number of people visiting the site will generate enough revenue to justify the experiment – which Rupert Murdoch says could produce “significant revenues” and, if successful, could see other free-access news websites follow suit.
There are approximately 150,000 Times print subscribers who get a free online registration, but if the estimated 15,000 daily online users who agreed to pay opt for the £2 a week deal, the paywall will generate £120,000 a month – £1.4m a year.