Traffic to The Times newspaper's website has dropped by just under a third since a paywall was introduced at the beginning of last month.
The number of unique visitors fell by 27 per cent to 1.61 million in July, from 2.2 million in June and 2.79 million the month before, according to research by the analyst ComScore. Total page views fell to nine million in July, from 20 million in June.
News International, which owns The Times, expected traffic to the Times Online site to dip dramatically when the paywall was introduced. But the ComScore numbers reveal a better performance than many predicted. Some commentators had forecasting that up to 90 per cent of the site's visitors would be deterred. Despite all visitors now paying to view Times Online, the amount of time spent on each page has dropped to just four minutes from 7.6 minutes in May and 5.8 minutes in June.
The Mail Online is the most popular newspaper website, with nearly nine million unique visitors last month. Traffic to The Independent website rose from 3.3 million in June to 3.5 million in July, according to ComScore.