Jeff Bezos Has a Lot of Work to Do on WaPo's Digital Subscriptions

Chart shows that WaPo lags far behind other top 10 U.S. newspapers in digital circulation

If Jeff Bezos intends to run his new Washington Post purchase the way he's run Amazon  he'll have a lot of work to do to expand the Post's digital subscriber base.

According to a Mashable report, the paper has the lowest number of digital subscribers of top 10 U.S daily newspapers: Only 9 percent of WaPo's 473,462 subscribers are digital.

Also read: In the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos Buys a Billionaire's Bauble, Not a Business

That's far less than rival publications New York Times and Wall Street Journal, as a Statista chart accompanying the story plainly illustrates.

The Washington Post ranks as the 7th-highest circulating daily paper in America overall but as of the Statista study, very few of those subscribers got it digitally. The study looked at average subscribers between October 2012 and March 2013, several months before the paper set up its paywall.

The WaPo was one of the last major newspapers to set up a paywall, beginning to roll it out a couple months ago. The New York Times, by contrast, was one of the first papers to set up a paywall and actually had more digital subscribers than print during the study period. Its paywall went up in March 2011.

Paywalls are intended to boost subscriptions for both print and digital access to stories. The WaPo's most recent earnings report covered the second quarter, before the paywall was fully in place.

Bezos has already promised WaPo staff that "there will be change" in a letter Monday. "The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business," the Amazon founder noted. 

Also read: The Washington Post Sale Further Devalues Newspapers, Say Experts

Here's the chart: