Has the paywall paid off?

News International has announced the number of paying online customers and the paywall debate rages once again!

Unsurprisingly today's announcement about The Times/Sunday Times online readership behind the paywall shows a hefty decline in online readers. 

News International established the firewall four months ago, seeking to prove that good quality journalism is worth paying for.  The figures are relatively clear - 105,000 people have paid for some form of online access to the papers since July.  However, the debate is raging about what these figures actually mean.

The website paidContent points out that the figures constitute a mere 0.5% of the pre-paywall online audience.  

However, News International is committed to continuing with the charging model as it focuses on building a loyal and ‘engaged' audience.  It has invested heavily in the new websites and in developing its iPad edition of the papers. 

The paywall is here to stay and the wider industry will continue to monitor the performance of the newspapers that sit behind it.