Chart: Which news website has the most paid subscribers?
- Paywalls are increasingly popular among news websites.
- The New York Times has the most subscribers, with 7.5 million.
- The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Game Informer, and the UK’s Financial Times all rank next respectively.
- Japanese store Nikkei ranks number one among non-English news sites.
- Most of the websites on the list are from traditional media, more than half of which are at least 100 years old.
As payment walls become more popular among news websites, most consumers are still not ready to pay for their news online.
In fact, a recent survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that only 20% of Americans pay for digital news, and of those who do, the majority subscribe to just one brand.
This raises the question: which media are public ready to pay?
Using data from FIPP and CeleraOne, this chart shows the most popular news websites around the world, based on their total paid subscriptions.
* Note: This report is based on publicly available data and should not be considered an exhaustive list.
With 7.5 million subscriptions, The New York Times (NYT) takes first place on the list. 2020 has been an exceptionally strong year for the point of sale: in the third quarter of 2020, the NYT had generated the same amount of revenue from digital subscriptions as it had for all of 2019.
The Times is the most popular due to a landslide – it has more than double the number of subscriptions as the second most popular outlet on the list, The Washington Post. Yet, while WaPo falls short of the NYT, it still enjoys a strong following, with around 3 million paid subscriptions from the fourth quarter of 2020.
Japanese outlet Nikkei ranks number one among non-English speaking news sites. It is Japan’s largest business newspaper, focusing primarily on markets and finance, but also politics, sports, and health.
Old Papers: Which Websites Are From Traditional Media?
Most of the websites on this list are from traditional media. Because of this, they have had years to establish themselves as trusted sources and gain loyal readers.
Interestingly, more than half of the outlets included in this ranking are at least 100 years.
Yet, undeterred by these well-established outlets, a few rambling websites have made the cut despite a shorter history. Four of the 38 websites are less than 20 years old.
Athletic is the last point of sale to rank. Established in 2016, the point of sale’s demographic target is made up of die-hard sports fans who lack the time for in-depth and quality sports writing.
In 2018, internet connectivity finally reached more than half of the world’s population. Yet some 3.4 billion people – roughly 50% of the world’s population – are still not online.
While much progress has been made in bridging this digital divide, the challenge remains overwhelming, complex and multidimensional. This requires a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to overcome four key barriers to Internet inclusion: infrastructure; affordability; skills, awareness and cultural acceptance; and relevant content.
The World Economic Forum launched Internet for All in 2016 to provide a platform where leaders from government, the private sector, international organizations, nonprofits, academia and civil society could come together and develop models of public-private collaboration for global Internet inclusion. .
Since its launch, Internet for All has achieved significant results on the ground globally, including the launch of four operational country programs in Rwanda, South Africa, Argentina and Jordan.
Learn more about our results and the continued efforts to ensure Internet access for all in our impact story.
Contact us to collaborate with the Forum and shape the future of our digital economy.
The need for reliable sources
Amid the global pandemic, issues of disinformation and fake news have helped reaffirm the important role trusted news sources play in disseminating public information.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for digital media consumption. With paywalls becoming more common, will consumers join us and end up being more willing to pay for their news?