Rupert Murdoch's Times
Online paywall experiment has released some highly selective statistics this morning. According to the Times
's spin, they've got some 200,000 paid users for their paywalled newspaper site, and that this means, "our journalism is valuable and that customers will respond to the investment, innovation and quality that are hallmarks of our titles and our company."
But the numbers are a little odd. First of all, 100,000 of the 200,000 paid subscribers are Times print subscribers who get the online edition for free (proving, I guess, that people like free stuff?). Of the remaining 100,000 "paid subscribers," some unknown number are people who bought access to a single article or paid for a £1 trial subscription for a month, or bought the iPad or Android App. All of these categories are surely "paid customers," but they're not monthly subscribers paying full freight to access the site -- we don't even know how many people who paid for one day's access ever paid for a second day's access (or converted to a regular subscriber).
In the best case the Times got 100,000 people to sign up for an ongoing, monthly subscription. In the worst case, 80,000 people paid £1 for a month's access and never re-upped; 10,000 people bought a single article and never came back, 9,000 people paid for the Android/iPhone app and stopped using it after the first day, and 1,000 people bought monthly subscriptions.
The Times isn't saying which scenario is the correct one. As one commenter on the Guardian's front-page story points out, "If the answer looked good for this concept, they'd have told us about it, surely?"
The last time I wrote about this, the Times's Tom Whitwell (Assistant Editor), wrote in to say that they weren't yet releasing "specific numbers," but that was back in July and now it's November, and the numbers are still pretty nonspecific.
Times claims 105,000 online subscribers
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]