The New York Times has seen its total page views slide since installing its online paywall.
Total daily visitors to the site were down between 5 and 15 percent, Hitwise found. However, the Times saw a 7 percent bump in visits on Saturday, April 9 — a spike likely due to people seeking the Times coverage of the potential government shutdown.
The slide is probably not terribly alarming to Times executives, who said they expected a post-paywall dip in traffic.
"This is a long term strategy," Times Co. president Janet Robinson said in March. "In the short term perspective, going to something new in this transition time, there may be a slight dip in traffic. But from the perspective of the way we've constructed the bundles and will remain part of the digital ecosystem, we believe we have protected our traffic and consequently protected our advertising inventory and advertising revenue."
It is certainly too early to judge the success or failure of the Times digital subscription play. But if the 12-day trend continues for, say, 12 weeks, that traffic protection Robinson is talking about might start to disappear.