Times and Sunday Times now claim more than 400,000 'members'

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The Times and Sunday Times now claim to have more than 400,000 paid-for subscribers (or "members" as they are being called).

The two titles now claim to have 172,000 digital subscribers (most take both) and a further 229,000 take either a print subscription or a combined print and digital one. The subscriber total is said to be up 22,000 year on year.

The growing print circulation of The Times means it is now comfortably ahead of its main rival The Daily Telegraph in terms of declared paid-for sales.

In February, The Times had a print circulation of 389,051 and 148,000 digital subscribers – making a total of 537,000.

Even when the 21,152 free bulk print copies are take away this still leaves The Times comfortably ahead of The Daily Telegraph’s 479,937 paid-for circulation.

The Telegraph launched a metered paywall in 2013, allowing readers 20 free article per month. But it has declined to reveal the number of subscribers.

The Times also has the UK’s most popular paid-for newspaper tablet edition, according to ABC, with 73,000 readers a per day.

The Sunday Times now has a print circulation of 787,091 (with 10,836 bulks) and a further 157,000 digital subscribers.

Speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London, News UK chief executive Mike Darcey said: “Passing this milestone is further vindication that charging for our content is working well and delivering a sustainable future for our papers.

“Access to great sporting action from our sports rights are all helping to drive sales but at the heart of the papers' success remains our award-winning world-class journalism.”

The Times’s online paywall means it lags far behind its rivals in terms of total readership.

According to the National Readership Survey, The Times had a monthly readership (in print and online) of 4.9m in 2014 versus 10.4m for The Independent, 16.3m for The Guardian and 16.4m for the Telegraph.

Sales figures with year on year change:

The Times

Print ABC: 389,000 (up 2 per cent)

Digital subscribers: 148,000 (down 1 per cent)

Note: The price of a seven-day sub increased from £4 to £6 a week for new customers in January 2014.

The Sunday Times

Print ABC: 787,000 (down 5 per cent)

Digital subscribers: 157,000 (up 6 oper cent)

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