'Customers will pay for digital content' as subscribers reach 225,000, says The Sun editor

The Sun, News UK's tabloid, has reported its number of digital subscribers has more than doubled to almost 250,000, less than 15 months after erecting a paywall around its content.

David Dinsmore: editor of The Sun
David Dinsmore: editor of The Sun

In unaudited figures released by the publisher of Britain's most read newspaper, the number of people who access The Sun's digital products has risen from 117,000 last December to 225,000, with most paying £7.99 a month, the equivalent of buying a print copy four times a week.

To hep emphasise the growth, the publisher's statement then strips out the 15,000 people accessing digital products through sampling codes in the print edition last year, to claim the number of digital subscribers has "more than doubled".

Combining the 225,000 digital subscribers with the latest published ABC figures (October: 1,978,000), The Sun’s total paid sales (Mon-Sat) at 2,203,000 versus 2,253,000 the previous year – represents a decline of 2.2%.

This drop in subscribers is considered an achievement amid a wider market that has experienced an annual decline of nearly 8% in the middle/popular sector of the market in October.

The Sun on Sunday’s total paid sales stands at 1,846,000 compared to 1,944,000 a year ago – a decline of 5% against a decline of 10.4% for the sector over the same period.

David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun, said: "Our legendary paper is making great in-roads into the digital market, and continuously building on our offer to readers.

"These figures are a promising start to our ambitious plans to offer loyal readers unrivalled content on every platform. They also confirm that customers will pay for digital content when it is original and of the highest quality."

The publisher's expanding pool of sports rights, perks, online games and enhanced digital editions (smartphone, tablet and web) of The Sun’s news, comment, and entertainment, helped to propel growth into new territories.

There have been nearly 2 million views of goal clips this season by people using The Sun’s exclusive Goals app. A weekly Dream Team game that is exclusive to members has also attracted more than 100,000 unique players.

Mike Darcey, chief executive of News UK, said: "These figures are a powerful endorsement of our core strategy – providing the best product on every platform and leaving the customer to choose which format suits them.

"Our digital bundle is proving increasingly popular, ensuring that the total paid sales across print and digital combined are strong enough to ensure on-going investment in our future."





Mon-Sat October ABC




Sunday October ABC




Digital subscribers








Total paid sales, The Sun, Mon-Sat




Total paid sales, The Sun, Sunday




Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Martin Freeman fronts Vodafone UK's first integrated ad campaign by Ogilvy

The Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman plays a rude wedding guest in Vodafone's first integrated ad campaign since the telecoms giant moved its UK ad business to Ogilvy & Mather earlier this year.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published