INEVITABLE

NYT Site Traffic Drops with Paywall

The New York Times paywall finally went live on March 28—but how much did that stop its most avid consumers? A comparison of total visits to NYTimes.com for a 12-day period before the launch of the paywall and a 12-day period after the launch found that there was a decrease of between 5 percent and 15 percent in overall visits. There was one bright spot: On April 9, there was an increase of 7 percent, as people searched for news about the government shutdown and budget discussions. However, the decrease in total page views was even more pronounced, with a decline of between 11 percent and 30 percent for the 12 days following the launch. The paywall limits online readers to 20 articles per month, unless they have a subscription. Those with smartphone applications continue to get the top news section for free, but all other sections require a subscription.