NBR ONLINE paid member subscribers top 4000

PLUS: New Zealand's largest, most influential organisations take IP subs | New staff | New features. With special feature audio.

They said it couldn’t be done.

When NBR ONLINE first introduced its paywall in 2009, people lined up to give it the bash.

Sam Morgan, then a Fairfax director, called it “the brick wall” and he was one of the politer ones.

But it turns out that if you deliver news people can use, they are willing to pay for it.

People did sign on, and new subscription options have seen numbers accelerating over just the past six months to hit 4000 individual paid member subscribers today (and in case you're wondering, NBR's print edition has 5515 paid subscribers; print and online have different content and are billed separately).

Their numbers are supplemented by 336 organisations with IP (internet protocol) subscriptions that let every staff member access NBR ONLINE from their office.

The list of IP subscribers (yes, an actual list – here) includes nearly every one of New Zealand’s largest organisations from blue-chip corporates to government departments and universities.

They’re all part of a unique monthly NBR ONLINE audience that Nielsen puts at 62,000 – more than double the size when the paywall was introduced.

Revenue from our paywall has played a primary role in funding what is easily New Zealand’s largest business newsroom, bolstered over the past year by the addition of the award-winning journalists Tim Hunter and Jenny Ruth, plus NBR Radio broadcasters Grant Walker and Andrew Patterson.

The success of our individual and corporate subs have proved the cynics wrong. People will support high-quality journalism. So from our newsroom and everybody at NBR: Thank you.

New developments
Although the paywall now has a solid base, 4000 is only the beginning.

We’ve recently introduced new features to get more people on board.

If you know someone who is paywall-curious, alert them to our new 30-day trial option (nbr.co.nz/free).

And if you’re part of an organisation with 100 or more staff, nudge your boss to take our new Enterprise IP subscription option, which throws in immediate access to our print edition online.

We’ve also recently spiffed up our search engine.

And we’ve hired Anthony Beinart-Smollan to manage the NBR social media community as our reach expands across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms as your views and feedback become more integral to our site.

NBR Radio has also expanded to more platforms. Beyond our stream that features on iHeart, TuneIn and iITunes (now serving around 15,000 streams per week), you can download individual clips from our new Facebook or SoundCloud pages.

We’re also really excited about the addition of Sunday Business with Andrew Patterson to the NBR Radio lineup this year – New Zealand’s only feature-length business programme. It has become our highest rating show and with good reason. A new episode is posted every weekend, with Andrew interviewing newsmakers, discussing the markets with Bernard Hickey and taking a deep dive with an extended interview. Check out recent instalments of this signature show here


NBR Staff celebrates (Photo: Tinaz Karbhari)

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