NYTimes.com to Introduce Metered Plan

Posted on January 22, 2010

The New York Times has announced plans to start charging for content on its website at nytimes.com. Users will be allowed to read an unknown number of articles for free each month. To read more articles users will have to pay a fee. Subscribers to the print version of the Times will get unlimited access to nytimes.com.

Starting in January 2011, a visitor to NYTimes.com will be allowed to view a certain number of articles free each month; to read more, the reader must pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the print newspaper, even those who subscribe only to the Sunday paper, will receive full access to the site without any additional charge.

Executives of The New York Times Company said they wanted to create a system that would have little effect on the millions of occasional visitors to the site, while trying to cash in on the loyalty of more devoted readers. But fundamental features of the plan have not yet been decided, including how much the paper will charge for online subscriptions or how many articles a reader will be allowed to see without paying.

The plan does not come without significant risks. The New York Times has become a world source for news because of the Internet and they risk losing significant traffic if regular users decided not to pay to use the website. If nytimes.com starts losing traffic than the company may have a more difficult time selling advertising.

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