Arkansas Times Paywall Shows Early Signs of Success

Six weeks into its experiment with digital subscriptions, the Arkansas Times has signed up 600 subscribers, reports editor Lindsey Millar.

Half of those subscribers opted for the $110 annual access plan, while the rest are paying $9.99 per month for access. Publisher Alan Leveritt tells us that after commissions, those subscribers translate to around $5,500 in monthly revenue.

Under its metered paywall system, readers have access to up to 10 blog posts per month for free before being asked to become a digital subscriber. Members also receive priority access to purchase tickets to events, as well as invitations to monthly cocktail parties. The site’s other content is not affected by the paywall.

In a blog post yesterday, Millar said that of the readers who hit the paywall, 8 percent decide to pay for access. “The industry norm is 2 percent,” he writes. “We expect to see some regression to that mean, but it’s definitely a strong start.”

In another positive sign, Millar said that 5 percent of the subscribers chose to pay more than what the paper is asking of them.

Leveritt says their goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers and $10,000 per month in revenue by the end of the year.