The Sun has reported more than 117,000 digital subscribers following the launch of its paywall in August this year.
According to statistics, released today for the first time since the rise of the paywall, this includes "nearly 102,000" digital-only subscribers, and an additional 15,000 who "prepay for the Sun+ digital package" using codes provided in the printed newspaper. The cited "package" includes the Sun's website and apps, including the Goals app introduced alongside the launch of the paywall.
Mobile is playing a significant role, with almost half of the subscription signups (47 per cent) said to have been made from a mobile or tablet device. The Sun also revealed that it will launch a new mobile app "next week", as well as a new tablet app next year.
Details released today also include average daily paid sales for The Sun of 2.2 million, said to be a 6.5 per cent drop year-on-year.
The Sun's paywall followed in the footsteps of other News UK titles The Times and The Sunday Times, which introduced digital subscriptions in 2010.
Updated digital subscriber figures were also released for The Times and Sunday Times today, now said to be at more than 153,000 digital-only. When taking into consideration print subscriptions that include digital the total figure rises to 360,000.
At a press briefing today, Mike Darcey, News UK's chief executive, stressed the news organisation's committment to a "wholly paid-for proposition".
But, he added, "it is the start of a long journey".
Kate Vanneck Smith, chief marketing officer of NewsUK, outlined a number of lessons learned so far, including the spread of digital subscriptions across the country, albeit with a "London heartland". She also added that 30 per cent of digital subscribers fall within the 25 to 34 age-group.
Editor of The Sun David Dinsmore said they have "learned an awful lot about what works well", since the launch of the paywall.
And the editorial department is currently going through a process of "reorganisation" he explained.
"A lot of work is going into the editorial restructure", he said. The Sun is currently establishing a new social media team, and Dinsmore said the editorial team has grown since the launch of the paywall.
Vanneck Smith added that one area of development they are "focused on" is looking at ways to "make it easier for customers to subscribe", indicating that PayPal is one platform under consideration.
Asked about 'churn rate' of subscribers, Darcey said that this is "inevitable" and a part of "any subscription game".
"We bring people in and then the game is to convert them into longer-term subscribers".
He added that "it's at a level you would expect".
The most recent web traffic figures reported by the Audit Bureau of Circulation, prior to the introduction of the paywall, showed a unique browser audience of almost 30.8 million for July.
Darcey said a "significant proportion" of that audience was outside the UK and was "passing trade coming in for a minute or two".
By no longer focusing on the "large volume game", he said they are enjoying a "much more engaged audience" today, who they "know much more about", and who, he added, "spend much more time with us".
"We are pretty happy with the choice we made".
Update: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Mike Darcey's surname.
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