Murdoch Hides UK Traffic Numbers Before Putting Up Paywalls

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As News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch prepares to put paywalls around his UK papers’ websites, the publications would like to keep their traffic stats private, paidContent reports:

ABC [Ed.: Audit Bureau of Circulations] confirmed to paidContent:UK that it is still auditing the publisher’s traffic numbers — but it is keeping the figures private at News International’s request and, at present, publication is not due to resume next month.

This means it will be hard to see exactly how many readers Times Online will lose when it starts charging £1 a day and £2 a week starting June.

That a paywall will precipitate a decline in traffic is a virtual certainty (just ask Variety), but it’s one that The Times is prepared for. But if The Times is openly willing to lose users in the name of higher engagement and subscription revenue, one has to wonder why it’s shy about owning up to the traffic-stats consequences.