New York Times to charge for online content

The Guardian

New York, May 18:

The New York Times is to begin charging for some of its online content, underlining the urgency for newspaper groups to find additional sources of revenue that can offset declining print circulations and a lacklustre advertising market.

The company said it would introduce subscription fees for its editorials, news columnists and archives from September. It will charge users $49.95 for an annual subscription to the service, called TimesSelect. Other services offered as part of the package include early access to sections such as property, the Sunday magazine, travel and arts, an email news tracker and audio and video content. Most news and features on will remain free.

After years of giving away online content for free, newspaper groups are taking tentative steps towards charging for services. The hope is that the strength of their brands and content will convince readers to pay, even when there is so much freely available online.

The London Financial Times offers a similar hybrid of free and subscription-based content. The Guardian remains free to internet users but now charges for crosswords, a digital version of the newspaper and some specialised email services. The Wall Street Journal has long stood out as the exception.