News Corp marks 100,000 digital subscriptions

News Corp Australia has told its staff it has hit reached a 100,000 paid digital subscriptions, following the introduction of a metered paywall in June.

Almost half of the 100,000 subscribers are made up of The Australian’s 45,000 digital subscribers but in an email to staff News CEO Kim Williams told his staff in addition to the 100,000 paid digital subscribers the company had had more than 300,000 people register their details under the news + brand.

“In addition to the 100,000 paid subscribers, we have had over 300,000 people register to use our metro sites since we launched our digital products with news+in May. This demonstrates progressive steady reliable connection with consumers,” Williams wrote in the email.

As part of the metered paywall, tabloid masthead readers are given five free articles a week before being required to register, then an additional 10-15 per week depending on which site they are subscribing with. The Australia retains a freemium where most articles are locked and while other content remains free.

In the wake of News’ move to the metered model on its tabloid websites some rivals said the move was about monetising consumer data than revenue from digital subscribers.

Williams did not address this issue but told staff:

“This is a moment for the company to celebrate. They are encouraging numbers which demonstrate clearly that Australians are prepared to pay for great journalism, well-argued opinion pieces and rigorous analysis…

“It is too early to declare success, as the challenge to transform our company into the most innovative and engaging media company it can be, is never ending. However, we are making encouraging progress. Onwards!”

Audited numbers for News Corp digital subscriptions are yet to be released.

Nic Christensen 


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