The Times has lost two thirds of its readers after it started charging web users to view content on its site.

According to web analytics firm Hitwise, in the week after parent company News International enforced the paywall on July 2, visits to The Times website were 66 percent less than before the charge was introduced.

News International announced in March it was planning to charge web users to access its content.

Pay-as-you-go access is charged at £1 per day, while signing up to a £2 per week subscription means web users can access the website as much as they like.

The drop is better than initially expected as some analysts had predicted the Times would lose 90 percent its users once it started charging. It is thought the special introductory offer giving those signing up for the weekly subscription 30 days' access for £1 may have helped retain some web users.

"We believe the new sites offer real value and we look forward to continuing to invest and innovate for our readers," said Rebekah Brooks, chief executive at News International.