The New York Times pioneered the concept of a paywall, a system where you can read a certain number of free articles per month before you are prompted to pay. The gambit has paid off, as the Times is reporting that they just hit one million digital subscribers.
In making the announcement, Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said, “This is a major milestone for our digital consumer business, which we launched in 2011 and has continued a strong and steady growth trajectory. It puts us in a unique position among global news providers. We believe that no other news organization has achieved digital subscriber numbers like ours or comparable digital subscription revenue. It’s a tribute to the hard work and innovation of our marketing, product and technology teams and the continued excellence of our journalism.”
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., The Times’s publisher, added, “Times journalism has a broader reach and wider impact now than at any time in our history. It is for our many readers around the world, in particular for our many loyal paying subscribers, that we remain fully committed to a continued investment in original, quality journalism and in the innovative tools needed to extend its influence.”
The New York Times is one of the few newspapers that successfully monetized paid content. Hundreds of newspapers all over the world tried to emulate their success early on, but most floundered, because the vast majority of people are reading their news online.