Since the paywalls went up on the websites of The Times and The Sunday Times owner News International has remained tight-lipped about the volume of traffic it has been generating – leading to a few wacky guesstimates about what might be going on.
However, web analytics firm Nielsen has today revealed the result of its own estimate of how many visitors are whizzing around those pages which are beyond the reach of the wider web.
Nielsen said that in the three months before the paywalls dropped on 2 July, the sites averaged a total of 3.1m UK visitors each month.
That figure has fallen to 1.8m on average each month throughout July, August and September – with an average of 362,000 monthly visitors behind the paywall.
The 362,000 figure – which includes online and print subscribers being given access online and those given a free demo – constitutes 20 per cent of the site’s total UK visitors in the period.
Nielsen figures suggest that four out of five visitors are turning up at the front door to find they are locked out of the party.
To establish these most recent numbers, Nielsen said it analysed how many people in the UK were accessing content behind the paywall and how this audience compares to the general Times audience
‘The analysis involved looking at the different URLs or sub domains within The Times’ website, visited by UK individuals from home or work computers. Therefore, our figures do not include visitors from outside the UK, visitors from mobile phones or UK people only visiting the site from internet cafÃ©s, airports or educational establishments.”