Web metrics sometimes appear to resemble opinion polls in that the questioner gets the desired result. They are more believable when a web measurement company is entirely dispassionate and neutral.
It compared data after the the paper erected its paywall in August with that in the previous month. Here are the headline findings:
*Monthly site visits down by 62.4% from 37.3m visits in July to 14.4m visits in August.
*Average time spent on site down by 67.4% from 3:59 minutes in July to 1:18 minutes in August.
*Bounce rate up by 31% from 47.5% in July to 68.9% in August. (For the uninitiated, bounce rate is a metric that records visitors who click on a site and then leave without going on to access content within it. So the higher the bounce rate percentage, the worse the site’s performance).
By any standards, I think this amounts to a disastrous start for The Sun‘s paywall strategy. I have to say I am surprised. I expected the paper to do better, not least because of the Sun+ goals app.
But it is early days and there will surely be an improved take-up rate over the coming months.
- The New York Times Paywall (michelledelrio.wordpress.com)
- First post-paywall figures reveal slump in Sun website market share (worldmediatrend.wordpress.com)