The heart of tech

This article was published on June 24, 2010


    Times Traffic Drops Off a Cliff After Paywall Launch

    Times Traffic Drops Off a Cliff After Paywall Launch
    Martin Bryant
    Story by

    Martin Bryant

    Founder

    Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

    Want to see what the launch of a paywall does to a news site’s traffic? Take a look at this graph from Hitwise.

    While other sites have held steady, the Times’ market share has dropped from 4.37% during the week ending May 22nd to 2.67% last week. Its average session time has also fallen from an average of five and half to three minutes. However, as Hitwise’s Robin Goad notes: “That figure is actually higher than many people would have expected, given that a lots of visitors will be spending very little time there if they are choosing not to register.”

    The Times doesn’t strictly have a proper ‘pay’wall yet, it’s simply asking users to register to view content for the time being. When users have to pay, we can probably expect an even greater drop.

    Of course, the Times shouldn’t be too worried by the drop. Introduction of a paywall was always bound to reduce the site’s audience. The fact that the Times gets a regular income from that smaller audience is much more important to publisher News International.