Notes from a news-site paywall attempt


New Zealand's National Business Review stuck a paywall in front of its website back in mid-July, betting that enough readers would stick around and pay for "quality" that it would make up for the stupendous drop in readership. Looks like they bet wrong. Their traffic plummeted, and traffic to their free competitors skyrocketed. On every metric, NBR is failing: pageviews, session duration, unique readers, and total time on site. NBR has a high paywall price, so maybe they've got enough money from corporate subscribers to make up for the advertising losses -- but how long will they keep them for, with all the links, visits, and attention going to their competitors?

NBR's performance since the subscription wall was built (via O'Reilly Radar)