News Corp Sees Digital Payments Soften But Not Reverse UK Sales Decline

More than a year and a half after News Corp.’s flagship UK “quality” papers introduced new paid digital outlets, their effect is becoming clear – they are softening ongoing print circulation declines, but not overturning them.

Latest figures issued by News International show The Times and Sunday Times websites, apps and digital editions gathered a total 6,147 new customers in January…

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But, despite the customer additions, total cross-format paid sales for each title are lower than a year ago…

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News International combines print and new digital paid copies to show that total paid sales are holding up. When combined, Times sales look healthier than they would be if observers considered only print circulation, which is falling despite a seasonal fillip at The Sunday Times.

The Times‘ web traffic has fallen from 20 million monthly uniques, but consider that, in the paid environment, a whole fifth of The Times‘ sales are now digital. What’s more, those customers are long-term subscribers.

Typically, iPad has played a big part in generating the Times’ digital custom. The daily title saw an average 59,882 copies downloaded daily in January, while the Sunday stablemate clocked 63,959.