Here’s an encouraging sign for the New York Times: Within three weeks of its paywall being in place, the paper had more than 100,000 paid digital subscribers in place – More than a third of the way towards its own target of 300,000 subscribers within the first year of the service.
That number comes from reporting on the company’s first quarter earnings results, although the guidance adds that “[s]o soon after the launch, the Company does not yet have visibility into conversion and retention rates for these paying customers after the initial promotional period.” The number does not include print subscribers who use free digital access to the paper, nor those taking advantage of a promotion by Lincoln to receive access through the end of 2011. It does, however, include people taking advantage of a four-week trial subscription for 99 cents.
With these kinds of numbers so early – The Washington Post reportedly took more than a year to hit a similar figure for digital subscriptions – it’ll be interesting to see how the next quarter goes for the site, and whether those who took the early trial stick around in the long term.
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