Little more than two weeks after Rupe’s supposedly upmarket troops at the Times and Sunday Times vanished behind their paywall, the first figures on the effects of that disappearing act have been released, but not by the Murdoch press.
And those figures – there has had to be some guesswork, given that Rupe and Co are not cooperating in the exercise – suggest that the loss in traffic is in the region of 84 to 93 per cent. So is the whole thing worth it? Do the paying punters make up for the loss of readership?
One group which may be less than totally impressed is that placing its advertising online. The fees for the Times and ST sites must come down if anyone is to run their advertising there – rather than at the Maily Telegraph, Independent or Guardian.
And how much of the remaining online readership is made up of the Times’ body of subscribers, who get their online access without extra charge? Potentially tough times ahead for Rupe and his troops. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bloke.