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‘Newsday’ defends low total of online paid subscriptions

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New York—Newsday has sold a total of 35 online paid subscriptions since the Long Island daily newspaper placed its content behind a pay wall in October, according to a story first reported by the New York Observer.

The story set off alarm bells on the Web as conclusions were drawn about the lack of potential for newspapers to generate revenue from their online content. Newsday responded with a statement emphasizing that the print newspaper’s subscribers as well as Cablevision subscribers had access behind Newsday.com’s pay wall. “Millions of Cablevision customers in the New York tri-state area and 75% of Long Island households, including all Newsday home-delivery subscribers, now have exclusive access to newsday.com at no additional charge,” according to the statement.

“Internal research shows that Newsday’s Web site is an extremely popular new benefit to hundreds of thousands of Long Island Cablevision households. Given the number of households in our market that have access to Newsday’s Web site as a result of other subscriptions, it is no surprise that a relatively modest number have chosen the pay option.”

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