Digital is broken into retail, 55 percent, or 165,000 subs, and corporate, whose 45 percent share is more of a black box. The FT sells corporate subscriptions by licenses, reporting sales of about 2,300 in all (the equivalent of 135,000 people), starting at $465/year, but that can go much higher.
Plugging the numbers we have, then, the FT should bring in $45 million in the UK, and $25 million in the US in retail digital subs, making digital-only subscription revenue roughly $70 million, not including corporate.
That makes total subscription revenue, including print, somewhere north of $269 million, of which 25 percent is digital, again, not including corporate, which will push it quite a bit higher.
This estimated total FT subscription figure is about 40 percent of my projection for the entire Group’s total revenue of about $678 million, which doesn’t include a healthy corporate subscription business and doesn’t seem out of whack with Grimshaw’s prediction. (UPDATE: I noted above, but should emphasize that the FT Group includes the sizable Merger Market business, so we don’t know the ratio of subscriptions to overall revenue for the newspaper alone. But, again, my estimates seem to line up here with the overall Group number.)
So paywalls of various stripes are pulling in material amounts at two premium papers.
Certainly, paywalls have yet to demonstrate that same robust level of support for regional and metro papers, which the FT’s John Gapper tweeted, “have an extremely steep hill to climb.” Paid subscriptions to the NYT-owned Boston Globe’s paid site, for instance, rose 28 percent since March, a nice pace, but to only 23,000, a low base.
That said, McClatchy is the latest newspaper chain to announce it will expand its paywalls, recognizing that not having a paywall is leaving money on the table.
One last note: while it’s true, the second quarter wasn’t fabulous overall for NYTCo., it’s worth pointing out that the thing dragging it down was a big writedown of the value of its free site, About.com.