The New York Times plans on slamming down a paywall on its digital content, following other publications, in an attempt to profit from its online material.
Starting March 28, Times readers in the United States will have free access to 20 articles per month. Anything beyond that will involve a series of payments: $15 per month for access to the NYTimes.com Website and smartphone application, $20 per month for online access plus a tablet application, and $35 per month for the combined online, smartphone and tablet options.
Those already taking the Times' home delivery will have full and free access to the Times' online content.
"It's an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in the Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform," Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times' publisher, wrote in a March 17 posting on the newspaper's Website. "The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Website and on mobile applications."
The New York Times will apparently "fine-tune the customer experience" ahead of the U.S. and global launch via a test run of the service in Canada.
In late 2010, a survey by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri found that the iPad was throttling print newspaper subscriptions. At the same time, however, its data also found that the iPad was rapidly becoming a new channel for people's daily news, offering hope that subscription models centered on the tablet could provide an additional source of revenue for news organizations.