The New York Times has finally announced its paid-online access approach.
The paper will begin charging “the most frequent users of its Web site” $15 for a month for access beginning March 28th.
Users in Canada will begin paying today.
Here’s how it will work.
- Users will get 20 articles a month for free.
- Once they click on the 21st article they will get be presented with three digital news packages: $15 for a month of access to the Web site and a mobile phone app; $20 for Web access and an iPad app; and $35 for an all-access plan.
- Subscribers to the paper version will automatically get unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
- Not all visits to NYTimes.com will count toward the 20-article limit. In an effort to ensure that as many as possible of the Web site’s more than 30 million monthly readers are not deterred from visiting, The Times will allow access to people who visit through search engines like Google and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. There will, however, be a five-article limit a day for people who visit the site from Google.
Said NYT chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr this morning in his annual State of The Times remarks :
“This move is an investment in our future. It will allow us to develop new sources of revenue to support the continuation of our journalistic mission and digital innovation, while maintaining our large and growing audience to support our robust advertising business. And this system is our latest, and best, demonstration of where we believe the future of valued content — be it news, music, games or more — is going.”
The NYT has been discussing and planning (and delaying) a paywall literally for years.
The metered approach would require readers to pay for the site once they have accessed a certain number of articles a month, though supposedly referrals, or links, from other sites would not count towards this toll.
Presumably part of the announcement, if it does come today, will detail how many free articles a reader will get and what fee they will be required to pay once they reach their free quota. As Felix Salmon noted last week there is already a meter graphic on the recommendations page.
The New York Times Launches Digital Subscriptions Subscription Plan Rolls out Today in Canada; on March 28 in the U.S. and Globally Home Delivery Subscribers Receive Free Access Across Digital Platforms NEW YORK, March 17, 2011 – The New York Times announced today that it is launching digital subscriptions, which will affect some users of its award-winning Web site, NYTimes.com, and its applications for smartphone and tablet. The subscription plan allows for free access to a set amount of content across digital platforms. When the monthly reading limit is reached, users who are not already home delivery subscribers will be asked to become digital subscribers. Digital subscriptions will be available in the United States and globally on March 28, 2011. The Times is launching digital subscriptions in the Canadian market beginning today in order to fine-tune the customer experience prior to the global launch. For non-home delivery subscribers, the basic package – NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App – will start at $15 every four weeks. The NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App package is currently available for purchase by users in Canada. On March 28, the global launch, The Times will offer three digital subscription packages, all of which include access to the Web site. Details are outlined below. In making today’s announcement, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times, said, “Today marks a significant transition for The Times, an important day in our 159-year history of evolution and reinvention. Our decision to begin charging for digital access will result in another source of revenue, strengthening our ability to continue to invest in the journalism and digital innovation on which our readers have come to depend. This move will enhance The Times’s position as a source of trustworthy news, information and high-quality opinion for many years to come.” Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, added, “As the market for and delivery of digital content evolves, we believe that supplementing advertising revenue with digital subscription revenue makes tremendous sense. The step we are taking today will further improve our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers across the world on any platform, while maintaining the large and growing audience that supports our robust advertising business.” Details about the digital subscription: All users of NYTimes.com are able to enjoy 20 articles at no charge each month (including slideshows, videos and other forms of content). Beyond 20 articles and for open access to the site, users will be asked to become digital subscribers. On The Times’s smartphone and tablet applications, the Top News section will remain free. To delve deeper into the apps’ other sections, users will be asked to become digital subscribers. The Times is offering three digital subscription packages that allow users to choose the devices on which they want to access Times content. NYTimes.com will be included as part of any subscription. Details and pricing for these plans is available at www.nytimes.com/access. Introductory offers will be available. All New York Times home delivery newspaper subscribers receive free, unlimited access* to NYTimes.com and the full content on all of The Times’s applications. Home delivery subscribers can go to http://homedelivery.nytimes.com to sign up for free access. Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media will be able to access those individual articles, even if they have reached their reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles. The homepage at NYTimes.com and all section fronts will remain free to browse for all users at all times. In keeping with Apple’s new subscription service terms, The Times will make 1-click purchase available in the App Store by June 30 to ensure that readers can continue to access Times apps on Apple devices. Subscribers to the print edition of the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times, will receive free, unlimited access* to NYTimes.com. For more details about The Times’s digital subscriptions, go to www.nytimes.com/access, or see the FAQ’s: www.nytimes.com/digitalfaq. *Mobile apps are not supported on all devices. Does not include e-reader editions, Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps. Other restrictions apply.
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