The New York Times Emerges as the Most-Subscribed Digital News Publisher (infographic)

People from all over the world have started ditching the newspapers since they are able to consume their daily dose of news via the internet. Yes, countless news publishers exist that keep people updated with the trends across the globe. However, several leading sites have their top stories hidden behind a paywall.

And it turns out that not many people are willing to pay to read a news story online. As per a recent survey conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, only one in five Americans spend their money on news websites. Additionally, it was revealed that a large chunk of the paying consumers is only loyal to a specific news brand.

This prompted FIPP and CeleraOne to gather publicly available data to find out the most subscribed digital news platform.

As per the aforementioned data, The New York Times (NYT) rests on top of the list with over 7.5 million subscribers. 2020 proved to be a financially strong year for the NYT website. By the end of September, it had managed to generate the same amount of money from subscriptions as it did during the full calendar year of 2019.

In terms of subscribers, no other digital news source even comes close to The New York Times. The #2 ranked website on the list is The Washington Post with around 3 million subscribers as of December 2020 (almost 4.5 million fewer paying consumers than The NYT).

While the top 7 spots were occupied by English news publishers, the 8th one was secured by the leading Japanese news outlet, Nikkei. It mainly updates consumers with marketing and finance-related news in addition to covering health, politics, and sports.

All sites on this list have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of subscribers. This is because most of these outlets have been around for several decades (started as traditional media). And over the years, these brands managed to rack up a loyal reader base.

Over 50% of the news sources on the list in question have been up and running for more than 100 years. In fact, only four out of the top 38 websites listed here have yet to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

If you take a look at the list, The Athletic came into existence in 2016 but still boasts truckloads of subscribers. This is because it has amassed a reputation of providing top-notch and well-researched sports content.

Stats aside, the COVID-19 pandemic has left people clamoring for credible news websites. The spread of misinformation and fake news has increased significantly amid this global fiasco. During such dark times, well-reputed news publishers can make a striking difference.

As for the rise in popularity of paywalls, it remains to be seen if more people will be willing to spend some bucks on news outlets they trust.

Do you think it’s fair for credible news sites to charge their readers in exchange for well-researched and fact-checked information? Let us know in the comments.

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