Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Newsday Only Has 35 Paying Subscribers

After a $4m website redesign and launch putting content behind a pay wall Newsday has accumulated only 35 paying subscribers in three months. The net gross from those subscribers in less then $10k. Not included in the obvious significant loss is the likely drop in ad revenues to their site with a decrease in web traffic. Content providers thinking of following suit would be wise to learn from what must be considered Newsday's mistake.

"So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to

The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.
The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they've grossed about $9,000.

In that time, without question, web traffic has begun to plummet, and, certainly, advertising will follow as well.

Of course, there are a few caveats. Anyone who has a newspaper subscription is allowed free access; anyone who has Optimum Cable, which is owned by the Dolans and Cablevision, also gets it free.

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