It has been more than a year since The New Yorker took down its paywall and triggered a frenzied run on its archives. Slate and others compiled lists of The New Yorker’s greatest hits, encouraging readers to take in the magazine’s ruminative nonfiction before the paywall came back up. The whole enterprise savored of an everything-must-go fire sale and less like a bid to build a broad subscriber base.
But when the paywall came up five months later, something strange happened. The New Yorker saw its traffic rise abruptly, with readers flocking to the site and subscribing at a fevered pace. Looking back on the readership spike in March, NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson told Nieman Lab the aftershocks of the so-called “Summer of Free” were unexpected. Read more