Times digital subscribers revealed at 79,000

News International has revealed the number of monthly subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times' digital editions, which have been behind a paywall since July, have grown more than 60% in the last four months to 79,000.

The Times website: subscription growth
The Times website: subscription growth

The internal figures also indicate there was also a 3% increase year on year in the paid readership of The Times across print and digital.

News International also said it is "expected that the trajectory of paid readership will put The Sunday Times into year-on-year growth in July 2011".

Combined, The Times and The Sunday Times had 79,000 monthly digital subscribers at the end of February, up from just under 50,000 on 31 October 2010, according to the results.  

This includes subscribers to the digital sites as well as to The Times iPad app and the Kindle edition.

In total there were 228,000 joint print/digital and digital-only subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times at the end of February. Of those customers that had a joint print/digital subscription, close to 90% were actively engaged with the digital products.

The new digital products launched on 2 July 2010 and The Times and The Sunday Times have notched up a total of 222,000 sales, surpassing double the figure of 105,000 as at 31 October 2010.

The figures include total sales of one-day passes to the websites along with cumulative sales of the Sunday Times iPad app, which launched at the end of last month.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, said: "Not only do [these figures] continue to demonstrate that ever larger numbers of people are willing to pay for quality journalism across a variety of digital formats, they also tell a great growth story for The Times which will be matched by The Sunday Times very soon. This has been achieved in a very short time.

"Our industry is being redefined by technology and we will no longer measure the sales and success of our newspapers in print circulation terms alone. The combination of print and digital is a potent force for our great journalism and our commercial success. Our rapidly growing customer base is incredibly attractive to advertisers due to their engagement levels and profile."

In 2009, when Times and Sunday Times content was free to access at Times Online and News International still published ABCe unique user figures, Times Online was attracting in the region of 19 million global unique users.

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