The Times iPad

News UK has announced that it now has more than 150,000 digital-only subscribers to The Times and Sunday Times paywalled site and apps. The last figure reported was of 100,000 subscribers.
A release states that there are now more than 350,000 subscribers to print and digital bundles of The Times and Sunday Times, the key total metric used by the business.

The number of print subscribers now stands at 200,000, which the release says is 50,000 more than in July 2010, the month The Times launched the paywall.

Digital subscribers, who pay £4-a-week, now contribute more than a quarter of total paid sales, the release adds. "Together, total digital and print subscriptions now make up half the volume of total sales for the title."

Mike Darcey, chief executive officer of News UK, said in the release: "Charging for our journalism allows us to invest in our journalism, creating an even better experience for our readers and helping to secure a sustainable future for our titles."

Speaking at the #smartDEN Digital Editors' Network event earlier this week, Katie Vanneck Smith, chief marketing officer at News UK said The Times has a strategy of "three pillars".

The first is that the title is paid for, both in print and online. The second is that The Times believes in "being distinctive and differentiated". Vanneck Smith said the paywalled site is "competing with free" so "needs to be different". The third pillar is that The Times "is a business that's built on customer relationships".

"Digital wasn't the threat we thought it was," she said, adding that "it enables us to build relationships with customers". (There is more on how News UK tracks readers across devices here).

More people are buying The Times than ever before, Vanneck Smith said at the event, pointing out that 15-months after paywall launch, in July 2010, the organisation was making more money than pre-paywall.

The publication makes a loss. In 2011 to 2012 the titles lost £28.7 million, of which £12.7 million was down to a redundancy programme.

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