News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch warned us that this was coming: Two British News Corp. papers, The Times of London and The Sunday Times are raising a paywall around their online news.Starting in June, users will be charged £1 (about $1.50) for a day pass to TimesPlus and £2 (about $3) for a week-long subscription.
The sites will launch in May for a free trial period. Users can sign up here.
The Guardian estimates that if 5% of their 1.22 million current users pay up, it would bring in £1.83 million (about $2.72 million).
News International CEO Rebekah Brooks said more British newspapers, the Sun and the News of the World, will follow suit:
“This is just the start. The Times and the Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach. These new sites, and the apps that will enhance the experience, reflect the identity of our titles and deliver a terrific experience for readers. We expect to attract a growing base of loyal customers that are committed and engaged with our titles.”
According to an announcement on the current site, news isn’t the only benefit to signing up:
Welcome to Times+ membership benefits, your doorway to a wonderful world of opportunity. If you’re a member of Times+, you’re a member of The Times and The Sunday Times, and can look forward to invitations to exclusive events – free film screenings, private views, early access and expert talks – plus upgrades, money-saving offers, gifts and much more.
Times+ gives you access to exclusive members benefits, events + offers + extras, and you can find out all about them here on the Times+ website. We’ll also present a selection of new offers in The Times and The Sunday Times every week, and send you regular e-mail updates.
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