The New York Times Company released their second quarter financials today, and Peter Kafka did some quick digging. He found that while print subscriptions were dropping, more than 200,000 new users have signed up for the digital subscription, closing the gap for lost revenue on the dead tree side of things. In other word, the NYT paywall seems to be paying off.
In addition to the 224,000 digital subscribers it got for web, phone and tablet access, the NYT signed up 57,000 users for its Kindle edition. An additional 100,000 subscribers joined through a free promotion from Ford, and no doubt a percentage of them will stay on when that deal expires.
Nonetheless, a 2.6 percent rise in digital ad dollars couldn’t make up for a 6.4 percent drop in print revenue. Numbers for About.com, the NYT’s version of a content farm, slipped due to the changes implemented by Google in operation Panda.
One of the more interesting dichotomies to develop in the software ecosystem over the past few years has been the open nature of Google’s app stores versus the closed and controlled marketplace maintained by Apple.
A new app in the Chrome store, Read WSJ, lets users get access to stories protected by the paywall without paying for a subscription the Wall Street Journal. It’s the perfect example of the sort of viral application that a permissive marketplace fosters.
It’s also the sort of thing that is going to produce big headaches for Google, which has had little luck in securing partnerships with the music, television and publishing industries.
Just because The New York Times has been working on their pay system for a really long time and it’s super complicated doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind about stuff at the last second and still get everything totally right, ok guys.
When it was first rolled out, the paywall Read More