News International, publisher of the Times and Sunday Times, has revealed for the first time how many people are paying to read the papers online behind the paywall introduced in the summer.
NI says 105,000 customers have so far paid to go behind the papers' paywall. A further 100,000 people have a joint subscription to read the newspapers digitally and in print.
In a statement, NI said that around half of the 105,000 digital sales comprised monthly subscribers, including those who subscribe to The Times iPad app, at £9.99 per month, and Kindle edition.
Those who subscribe to the print versions of both The Times and The Sunday Times receive access to the papers’ websites as part of the deal, and News International said that a further 100,000 of these customers had activated their digital accounts.
The company said: “As a result, the total paid audience for digital products on The Times and The Sunday Times is close to 200,000 (allowing for some duplication in the digital customer sales number).”
The editor of The Times, James Harding, told the Today programme this morning that he was "hugely encouraged" by the figures.
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, said: “We are very pleased by the response to our new digital services. These figures very clearly show that large numbers of people are willing to pay for quality journalism in digital formats.
“It is early days but renewal rates are encouraging and each of our digital subscribers is more engaged and more valuable to us than very many unique users of the previous model.”
Source: BBC News and timesonline