Readers not deterred by metered access

Online readers have been unfazed by the introduction of digital subscriptions across news sites at both News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media, with unique audiences remaining strong.

The latest Nielsen Online Data for July shows that news.com.au remains the number one news website in Australia with smh.com.au moving up one place to the number two spot.

The ratings confirm there has been little movement in the top 10 over the past few months, despite the two major media companies in Australia introducing metered subscription models.

News.com.au and smh.com.au have both maintained or grown their audience in July compared with previous months.  In May, they had audiences of 2.7m and 2m respectively.

The Nielsen figures come as Fairfax released their full year results last week, which included the announcement it had so far registered 68,000 paid digital subscribers, which is half of the company’s 12 month target in just four weeks since the July 2 launch of its subscription model. The company also has notched 98,000 bundled digital subscribers, with around one third of those digital subscriptions being iPad only.

News Corp websites The Herald Sun and Telegraph also appear not to have lost audience significantly from the unique audiences of 1.7m and 1.1m in May.

News Corp revealed last month that it had attained around 50,000 digital subscribers to its state-based news websites, plus an additional 50,000 people who subscribed to The Australian’s “freeium” model website.

The Guardian had an Australia audience, across all its websites, of 1.16m up from 1.02m last month and ranking it in 12th place in the overall news rankings. The newspaper’s Australian editor Kath Viner complained last month that Nielsen’s numbers under-represented The Guardian’s overall Australian audience.

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