We notice that Ireland.com, the Web site of The Irish Times of Dublin, has begun putting more stories in front of its paid content gate. Is this a bit more of a retreat from its paid access content model? A way to increase the pageviews and ad banner exposure counts that Ireland.com lost when it converted from free to paid access.
When it then converted to a paid access model in mid-2002, Ireland.com’s monthly pageviews dropped from 30.4 million to between 6.5 million and 7.1 million, which had a direct effect on its banner advertising revenues.
Although Ireland.com as a free access site had 2.3 million monthly unique users (of whom between 1.2 million and 1.5 million used the site at least several times monthly), the site has managed to signup less than 10,000 users as paying users, a one percent conversion ratio.
More than 80 per cent of those subscribers chose to pay the site’s