Tag Archives: times.co.uk

Martin Belam: Many Times readers might give up on newspaper websites altogether

The Times have always acknowledged that the paywall would mean a drop in traffic. They accept that many former visitors to the site will not be prepared to pay.

But where will they go instead? Will they break their readership loyalities?

The point is taken up by Martin Belam, information architect for the Guardian.co.uk, who says we cannot assume that readers will simply defect to another online newspaper.

Writing on his blog, Belam says to assume so would be to “view our industry through the prism of the newsagent”.

The web isn’t a newsagent. It is rather more like the table in a library with newspapers scattered across it, ready to be picked up and browsed at will.

And unlike the newsagent, that library table is no longer confined to publications ‘registered with the Post Office as a newspaper’.

Many Times readers, he adds, “might just give up on all newspapers websites”.

See the full post here…

First peek at traffic stats for Times’ new site

New figures released by intelligence service Hitwise show that traffic to the Times’ new site, thetimes.co.uk, has halved in the last week, following the closure of timesonline.co.uk.

The drop also ties in with the introduction of user registration in preparation for the paywall.

On Wednesday, the title’s market share of UK internet visits was down to 1.81 per cent, less than half its average during May.

The average session time has also fallen from five and a half minutes, to three, which Hitwise research director Robin Goad says is better than first thought.

That figure is actually higher than many people would have expected, given that a lots of visitors will be spending very little time there if they are choosing not to register.

Over the last month, the title’s market share has also dropped to 2.67 per cent in the week ending 19 June, compared to 4.37 per cent during the week ending 22 May.

The Times’ new registration site, MyTimes+ was the top visited site after thetimes.co.uk.

It’s a chance to see first traffic statistics for the soon-to-be paywalled site, which were not released with other UK national newspaper website figures in the ABCe audit for May.

Goad concludes:

It’s still early days, but the conclusion so far seems to be this: since it forced users to register in order to view its content, the Times has lost market share. However, this decline has clearly not been catastrophic and none of the paper’s rivals has particularly benefitted. Yet. The real test will come when people actually have to pay rather than simply register to view the Times’ content.

See the figures in full here…