Paywall cuts News of the World audience by 40%

News of the World has suffered a 40% drop in visitor numbers since introducing its paywall in October, according to ComScore.

News of the World
News of the World

It had around 1.56 million unique visitors in September, but this fell to 0.96 million last month, closer to its October 2009 figure of 1.04 million.

Looking at the past 12 months, News of the World visitor numbers have peaked and troughed, even before the announcement of a paywall, although the number of pages viewed on the site has steadily declined.

The average number of page views in November 2009 was 24, and reached its lowest point in October 2010 when visitors viewed on average of just eight pages per visit.

Dwell time on the site over the last 12 months has remained steady, between six and nine minutes, although it too reached its lowest point last month, at just 5.1 minutes.

News of the World’s approach has been to entice readers to pay for ’snackable’ video content suited to mobile viewing, which may not be conducive to long dwell times. It’s hoping page views will increase or hold steady as visitors browse picture galleries and headlines.

By comparison, The Sun has remained steady over the last year, with around 4.5 million unique visitors every month and an average of 12-13 minutes’ dwell time. Visitors viewed 97 million pages, an average of 24 per visitor.

Across the wider newspaper sector, Mail Online remains the most popular on all metrics, according to ComScore. It claimed 10.08 million unique visitors in October, 223 million page views, a dwell time of 23.7 minutes and an average of 22 pages per visitor.

The Guardian had 9.27 million visitors, 176 page views, dwell time of 12.5 minutes and an average of 19 pages per visitor.

The Independent, which claims to have benefited from the migration of The Times readers behind its paywall, attracted 3.95 million unique visitors last month who viewed 26 million pages, averaging seven pages per visitor, for 6.2 minutes per visit.

The Times, which introduced its paywall in July, attracted 1.4 million unique visitors in October, viewing 6 million pages, with visitors spending an average of 3.6 minutes on the site.

This story first appeared on

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