Tag Archives | Paywalls

The New York Times’ Permeable Paywall: Coming March 28th

Fourteen months after announcing that it was going to begin charging for heavy use of its Web site, the New York Times has revealed the details and the deadline. Starting March 28th, the newspaper will institute a $15 monthly plan for access via the Web and a phone app, a $20 plan for the Web and the iPad app, and $35 for an all-access option. Subscribers to the print edition–which costs about $63 a month (after an initial 50%-off deal), at least here in the Bay Area–will get everything for no extra charge.

(Canadians are subject to the new plan immediately–they’re serving as beta testers for us Yanks. Thanks, Canadians!)

Other than the fact that the Times is attaching a price to its online content, the most important fact about its strategy is that this paywall only goes into effect for fairly voracious readers. You can read 20 articles a month at no charge. People who come to the site via Google will be able to read five stories a day for free; visitors from Facebook and Twitter won’t have to pay. Clearly, the goal is to extract some money out of people who treat the digital incarnations of the Times pretty much like a newspaper, without killing traffic from more casual types who come only occasionally or are directed to specific stories by their friends.

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