If you were a New York Times freeloader before, your freeloading days are at an end. The New York Times Company on Thursday announced the launch of its new paywall, a digital subscription service that will begin charging users for unlimited access to NYTimes.com and the company's smartphone and tablet apps.
A monthly subscription service was launched today in Canada and will clamp down on the rest of the world on March 28, at which point readers will be able to choose from among three subscription packages. The cheapest package, at $15 a month, will give readers full access to NYTimes.com and the smartphone app. For $20 a month, readers can get access to NYTimes.com and the tablet app, and for $35 a month, users can get all digital access to the site and mobile apps. Print subscribers will get unlimited digital access to the website and all mobile apps, but when their home delivery subscription is up, they will be asked to become digital subscribers. Additionally, those who already have the New York Times app on their phones will continue to be able to access the Top News section for free, but they'll have to subscribe to get other articles.
But you're probably wondering, How will this affect moochers like me who have no plans to pay for my news? The good news is that you CAN still leech off of the Times website, but you're limited to only 20 articles a month. Once you reach your limit, you'll be asked to become a subscriber. And if you come to an article through a link, you'll be able to read the full article even if you've already reached for your reading limit.
“As the market for and delivery of digital content evolves, we believe that supplementing advertising revenue with digital subscription revenue makes tremendous sense," said Janet L. Robinson, president andCEO of The New York Times Company, in a prepared statement. "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.”
The company explains its reason for launching in Canada first (which, for now, will only be able to get website access plus the smartphone app) as an effort to "fine tune the customer experience before global launch on March 28, 2011."
Image source: NYTimes.com