Just four months after launching a paywall, UK tabloid The Sun has acquired more than 117,000 digital subscribers, and 47% have signed up via mobile devices, according to The Media Briefing.Of those, 101,779 people have paid outright for The Sun’s £2/week subscription price. If The Sun can retain those subscribers from a year, they stand to make £10.5 million in subscriptions.A further 15,590 subscribers have gained access through The Sun’s unique printed code access. In order to convert print readers to digital subscribers, The Sun allows prints a unique alphanumeric code in each edition of its paper. Print buyers can then unlock a free one-month’s subscription by registering the code and their email on The Sun’s site (see screenshot below). After that, print readers interested in digital access must bank 20 codes in order to get another month of access.
While we admire the creativity of this approach to bundling print and digital consumption, it unfortunately has not converted that many print subscribers. That’s because The Sun has a print circulation topping 2 million, so their 15,590 print+digital users translates into just a 0.7% conversion rate.We suspect that’s why The Sun, instead of focusing on converting more print subscribers, is looking to augment its mobile offerings (what with that 47% traffic rate, it’s a no-brainer). The Sun already paid £20 million for exclusive rights to the Premier League highlights, allowing them to create the popular Goals app. The news site also plans to launch a new mobile app next week, and a new tablet app next year.Some other interesting stats on The Sun:
- 30% of digital subscribers fall into the 25 to 34 age bracket.
- 60% of subscribers are male, versus 40% for females, possible because of the Goals app and focus on sports highlights.
- The Sun is currently creating a social media team with a 24/7 focus; it’s also considering adding PayPal as a payment method to make payment easier for subscribers.
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