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A decade on, AFR has 6711 subscribers to its paywall

Fairfax Media has for the first time disclosed how many online subscribers it has to the Australian Financial Review.

The company has revealed that afr.com.au has 6711 subscribers.  

The company charges $1140 per year for an annual digital subscription.

Based on its stated policy that it does not discount subscriptions to the site, this would indicate, at best, revenues of about $640,000 per month, or$7.6m per year.

In addition, the company said it has a database of 38,335 “active” users who have paid to use the site on an occassional basis at some point in the past, mostly since November 2009.

The paid afr.com.au was launched around 2002. The company has relaunched afr.com.au several times in the last four years at a reported cost of “millions of dollars”. Its most recent major relaunch was in November 2009.

The company also said the 6711 subscribers is a 53% growth on 12 months ago – suggesting that it had just 4,400 or so subscribers at the same time last year.

The AFR’s announcement coincided with the release of circulation figures for the AFR’s print edition which saw a year-on-year decline of 3.5% of its weekday edition to 74,733 copies; and a decline of 6.8% to 78,783 copies for its weekend edition.

The decision to release the numbers also came days after speculation in The Australian over the future of Financial Review Group boss Michael Gill’s future under new Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood.

Gill said in the announcement of the afr.com.au numbers: “We made an early commitment based on the importance of developing a sustainable business model that would underpin the flexibility required to shift with evolving customer needs. We knew if we got this right that our audience would see the value in paying for quality content. This is exactly what has happened and we couldn’t be more confident of both the model and in where we find ourselves today. ”

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