The New York Times’ paywall is now three years old. For most of that time, digital subscriptions grew at a healthy pace. However, according to Recode, there are signs that things are slowing down.
In June, the Times reported that it had added 32,000 digital subscriptions during the second quarter, bringing its total to about 831,000. That’s a solid number.
Unless, of course, those new subscribers were lured by new apps like NYT Now, and the Times has already hit its subscriber ceiling:
There could be some cannibalization from the new app, of course, but even if all 32,000 were for the main digital subscription (which costs $15 to $35 depending on how many devices you want to use), that would still fall short of the previous two quarters when the Times averaged 36,000 new subscribers.
If the Times has truly tapped every customer who will pay for its content, there could be rough waters ahead. As with any print product, the execs at the paper will need to figure out new revenue streams to avoid getting shipwrecked.