Only 35 users have signed up to access Newday’s web site since they put up their $5 a week paywall three months ago. 35 people — “as in a decent-sized elementary-school class,” John Koblin at the New York Observer reports. That astoundingly low figure was revealed in a newsroom-wide meeting last week by publisher Terry Jimenez when a reporter asked how many people had signed up for the site. Mr. Jimenez didn’t know the number off the top of his head, so he asked a deputy sitting near him. He replied 35.
The New York Times, and every other news publication has been watching how these paywalls are paying off for news sites. Newsday’s redesign with the paywall cost $4 million. With those 35 subscriptions, they’ve grossed about $9,000, according to the Observer‘s report, which has more details on those subscriptions. Cablevision customers and Newsday subscribers are also allowed free access to the site. Looks like these New York Times executives have some thinking to do. Meanwhile, Newsday union members are meeting with the company today to argue against the company’s proposed pay cuts and longer work hours.