The Business Insider posted a short article today on how a former Wall Street Journal publisher estimates that the NYT stands to make $100 million on its metered paywall from subscribers (in addition to the $150 million it rakes in from digital ads.)
So, where does that $100 million come from? Not sure. But I have a guess. I believe Gordon Crovitz, the former WSJ publisher, is looking at the New York Times experience with the "Times Select" offering, which charged $50 a year several years ago for columnist and other specialized content.
Times Select drew 227,000 subscribers. Now, to reach Gordon Crovitz's rosy $100 million expectation, the new NYT metered paywall, on average, would have to enroll 238,000 paid subscribers in the "all digital access" plan, at $35 a month -- or
$420 $455 a year (a Times spokeswoman called me to say their billing schedule of once every four weeks works out to be higher.)
The cheapest rate for access to Nytimes.com and its various smartphone apps is $15 a month. Or $195 a year.
But again, Times Select charged $50 a year, whereas the entry level digital subscription charges $195 times a year. To make $100 million in revenue just off the barebones digital subscription, the NYT would have to get 555,555 people to pony up $195 a year.
Sorry, Crovitz, I don't see these numbers working out in the New York Times favor. My bet is if the NYTimes even makes $50 million on this paywall approach, it will be darn tootin' lucky.