New York Times website

Freeloaders, it’s time to pay up. That’s the message being sent by The New York Times, anyhow, as the paper announced yesterday it was changing the number of free articles visitors to the website could access each month.


When the paywall was first introduced in March of last year,the Times said that visitors to the paper’s website could access up to 20 articles per month free. This number has now been decreased to 10. When the limit has been reached, users can pay $15 per month for web and mobile access, $20 for web and tablet access, and $35 for access to all three.

But while many will be quick to complain, Peter Kafka of All Things D says that, for most users, the Times‘s paywall strategy remains relatively unchanged. That’s because readers can still access articles through Twitter, Facebook, and Google links—sites where the paper’s most popular articles are often shared—as many times as they want. “The idea is to offer a “porous” wall that lets the Times have it both ways,” writes Kafka. “Avid readers will need to pay up, but the paper still gets the benefit of search and social Web traffic.”
And according to The New York Times, it does appear as if users are paying—454,000 of them, to be exact. And that number will only continue to grow.
Lead image via Flickr user kawanet.
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About the author

Matthew Braga was the Senior Online Editor of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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