In order to increase digital sales, The New York Times announced that it will limit the amount of online articles its readers can read free each month. This new policy will be implemented starting April.
Is this the end of an era for The New York Times? Will it eventually completely adopt a paywall and not provide any free content to its readers? Tuesday’s announcement may be a step in that direction.
The New York Times Co. announced in a blog post and press release that it is further restricting free access to its web content as of April. This latest measure comes as it is attempting to increase digital sales subscriptions and overall digital revenue.
“We knew that readers placed a high value on our journalism, and we anticipated they would respond positively to our digital subscription packages,” said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times, in a press release.
The Times will limit the amount of free articles from 20 to 10 per month. Once they exceed the amount they will be asked to subscribe. However, readers who access articles through email, blogs and social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, can view stories even if they have passed the limit.
The NYTimes.com homepage will remain free to browse for all users at all times.
Since it launched its paid digital subscriptions a year ago, the newspaper now has 454,000 paid subscribers to its various subscription features, such as its e-readers and duplicate editions of the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. Its 2011 revenues totalled $2.3 billion.
Digital Journal reported earlier this month that a Pew study found that United States newspapers lose $7 in print revenue for every dollar earned in digital revenue. Newspaper executives were pessimistic about the future as some feel newspapers will eventually shrink, shut down and only offer print editions a few times per week.