News UK hits 500,000 subs for The Times & The Sunday Times

06 Jul 2018  |  Michaela Jefferson 
News UK hits 500,000 subs for The Times & The Sunday Times

Publisher News UK has hit a major milestone for its subscription-based model: The Times and The Sunday Times now together reach half a million subs across digital and print.

Digital-only subs are up 20% year-on year to 255,000. Not only is this the most successful year the newsbrands have had since launching the digital subscription model in 2010, digital subs have also overtaken print subs for the first time.

Whilst there has been a lot of experimentation with subscription models by other newsbrands - from 'premium packages' to membership schemes - News UK is the only publisher to have hidden all of its digital content behind a paywall from the beginning. According to Rebekah Brooks, News UK's CEO, the publisher was right to believe that readers will pay for quality journalism.

"Since launching digital subscriptions in 2010 we have continued to innovate and invest in world class journalism and understand more about what both customers and advertisers want and need," she said.

"Both print and digital subscribers are staying longer and spending more, and we believe there continues to be potential to attract new audiences."

John Witherow, editor of The Times, added: “As Britain’s most trusted national newspaper, The Times consistently delivers thorough news and analysis alongside incisive commentary from across the political spectrum and fine writing that injects wit and wisdom into all our sections.

Our formats and platforms may continually evolve, but the quality of what we produce is constant and we are very encouraged that ever more people turn to us to be their guide to what matters.”

Although The Times and The Sunday Times can boast a large paid-subscriber base, it comes at the cost of total brand reach. New PAMCo data reveals that The Times has a lower total brand reach than the majority of its national competitors across all markets, and is the only newsbrand with a lower mobile reach than print.

However, according to the ABCs, The Times currently has the highest print circulation in the quality market, as does The Sunday Times out of the Sunday titles. The newsbrands shifted 431,053 and 772,509 copies, respectively, through May this year.

"In the age of information overload, the role of exclusive, investigative reporting, expert columnists and cultural commentary is more important than ever," said Martin Ivens, editor of The Sunday Times.

"Readers trust our award-winning journalists to navigate a complex world for them and constantly innovate in how we tell those stories."

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17 Sep 2018 

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