On March 28, The New York Times will roll out a metered paywall plan, charging avid readers $15 a month to read the paper online and with a mobile app. The iPad subscription will cost $20 and an all access plan will cost $35.
The plan includes a big loophole: “The Times will allow access to people who arrive at its Web site through search engines like Google and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. There will, however, be a five-article limit a day for people who visit the site from Google.” Author Cory Doctorow wonders if hackers will create a “browser redirection service” to dodge the paywall.
The plan launched in Canada today. If it works, the newspaper could pave the way for more paid content on the web, from newspapers to magazines to online journals. Will you pay $15 to read the paper every month? Will this plan change the way we read online?
Here’s more from publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.: “On NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles each month at no charge (including slide shows, videos and other features). After 20 articles, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber, with full access to our site. On our smartphone and tablet apps, the Top News section will remain free of charge. For access to all other sections within the apps, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.”
Editor’s Note: This post was updated as the story evolved.