The New York Times’ share of total page views to newspaper websites dropped by its largest margin in more than a year in April, the first full month that it had its paywall up. ComScore data shows that the NYT‘s share of newspaper website traffic was 10.6 percent last month, down from 13 percent in March and 13.5 percent in May 2010.
PaidContent had previously reported that Times execs saw the traffic drop-off as less severe than expected, bu it won’t be easy for The New York Times to put a positive spin on such a hasty decline. Lets consider the rapid succession of highly mediated events that have taken place since the wall went up: The Japan Earthquake, The Libyan Civil War, the near-shutdown of the federal government, the Royal Wedding, killer tornadoes in the South, and the death of Osama bin Laden, to name a few.
Although the Japanese earthquake itself occurred on March 11, the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima-Daichi plant was still in a critical phase after one week. Irrespective of this single event, the number of natural disasters, international conflicts and other news making events have been boosting ratings of publishers such as CNN and Fox, as Mediaite reported.
As a non-subscriber to the Times, I constantly consider whether reading a new article on the site will put me over my month. For screaming headlines, and quick news bites, I instead go to The Huffington Post, one of many destinations I know will be carrying national and international news.