News UK titles The Times and The Sunday Times have now exceeded 300,000 paying digital subscribers, showing the progress the legacy publisher has made in attracting readers to its online proposition.
Total subscribers for the two titles' print and digital products now stand at 539,000 and their websites boast five million registered users. Digital-only subscriber numbers were up 19 per cent year-on-year, reaching 304,000 by the end of June – the highest figure since the paywall was introduced in 2010.
The latest milestone follows last year's announcement that digital subscriptions to The Times and Sunday Times had overtaken print ones for the first time.
Managing director Chris Duncan said: “The Times and The Sunday Times continue to show that people value quality journalism and are prepared to pay a premium for news they can trust.
“We’re delighted to have had another successful year in terms of digital growth, attracting new subscribers in the UK and across the globe. We invest in the news service to build both frequency and loyalty among our readers. We continue to marry the practices of world class journalism with innovations like our AI powered 'digital butler' that helps people navigate the news that matters.”
Reflecting on the performance of The Times' paywall during a recent speech to the Society of Editors, its editor John Witherow said: “10 years ago The Times pursued its own course...the paywall succeeded because we established a price for digital journalism. We recruited subscribers. We turned a profit. And we continued to invest in the highest-quality journalism. This might seem obvious now but it is only with hindsight that we see that we were years ahead of our rivals.”
PAMCo data (June 2019) says the two titles have a total brand reach of 8.6 million adults each month, up 6.5% year on year. Five million adults read digitally and spend an average of 28 minutes a day on The Times smartphone app, which was also up 25%.
According to the ABC auditor, The Times has a daily average circulation of 400,000, while The Sunday Times sits at 687,000.