The Billings Gazette just did an online deal for Sunday-only subscriptions for new subscribers at 54 bucks per year and signed up over 100 people in 48 hours. We will see more of this for sure. They also just released an iPad app that is paywalled too, whereas their other ones are free. This means that they have committed to paywalls. I think we'll see paywalls go up like crazy this year. My guess is that it will drive nearly 20M in annual revenue from subscriptions and increased print.
No way, can this really be correct.......$5,400 in annual revenue in the first 48 hours (sarcasm)? I wouldn't get too excited.......that is incredibly lackluster. If that rate were consistently maintained with 100 subscribers paying $54/year every two days........you would end up with a non-factor gross revenue # of roughly $985K. Of course there are costs so the net number is smaller not to mention that the company is no doubt cannibalizing its current paper subscribers to some extent.
Couple of things- 1. This is 6 months into their paywall and their promotions are still pulling in over 100 subscribers at a time. This is only the latest of several that they have already done that have been similarly successful. I'd say about 500 print subscribers have signed up over the last 5 months by my observations of the daily deal forum, which I check regularly at the 6 paywalled papers. 2. In the last ABC report, the billings gazette circulation was flat. This is relevant because, by tradition or habit, circulation usually shrinks from Mar-September by about 3-5% percent. Therefore, we can say that 2 months of paywall caused between 3-5% of circulation gain. It's NOT about the circ revenue... it's about readership. Each circulation dollar is usually worth at least two dollars in advertisements. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get hard facts, but things look good anecdotally, specifically, my anecdotes.