The New York Times has announced a paywall for frequent visitors requiring $15 every four weeks as a “digital subscription” allowing access to users that read 20 or more articles per month. This plan goes in to affect on March 28th in the U.S. and immediately for Canadian readers. This plan, which they are calling a bet, intends to draw revenue from loyal readers while not turning away casual visitors to their site.

The NYTimes.com website isn’t the only thing the company is putting a price tag for access to. At $15/month, you’re paying for access to the website and their official mobile phone apps. If you want to view their website and use their iPad app, the subscription cost goes up to $20 with the option of an all-access subscription at a cost of $35 per month.

This is far from the first time a major publication has attempted to paywall their online content. Rupert Murdoch previously experimented with adding a paywall to some of his UK papers with minimal success. Newsday’s paid digital subscription plan failed miserably, gaining only 35 paid subscribers upon its initial launch. With this rough history surrounding requiring payments for online news content, why are the New York Times taking what can be perceived as such an ill-advised step with their readers?

Source(s):
NY Times – The Times Announces Digital Subscription Plan
The Guardian – Johnston Press paywall ‘failure’ proves the publisher is not up to the job
Observer – After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions for Newsday’s Web Site