Probably only publishing stats online so they can make adjustments to the # on the fly and not have to worry about print copies floating around proving the change.
Maybe but I am not sure that even the WTS would try that trick knowing how good a memory the internet has. I think it's simple financial common sense. The YB takes time to write and print. Every Witness orders one but how many read it? It ends up on a shelf, no use to anyone.
The website has plenty of capacity to promote the various experiences. The monthly broadcast has numerous life stories and accounts of times past. The Awake already has articles about countries around the world.
I think they will continue to publish figures. If they take this away then they reduce the drive to report. If they reduce the drive to report then they risk reducing the drive to go out. If people don't go out then the hold of the cult diminishes.
When I was an MS and always being battered about my hours in the ministry they would talk about the average hours being a benchmark. I used to argue the toss over this. Firstly I would ask about what scriptures they could use to back this up. None of course. Secondly I would ask them what the average is - congregation or national - and how would I know what it is? The national numbers had not been published in the Kingdom Ministry for years and the congregation average is not announced. Therefore how could I know what the benchmark was and if it was such an important benchmark why was it not being published.
Take that argument forward to if they stopped publishing the numbers. There is no incentive to report. The common argument used to be that the org needs to know numbers to know what literature to print. They've all but stopped compared to a 10 years ago. It makes no difference to them. Now they are not even printing different mags, just recycling the old ones.
Take the numbers away and people will ask why they bother at all.