New York Times Co. unveiled a plan to charge readers for unlimited access to the Web version of its flagship newspaper, a seminal—and risky—move in the industry's broader push to stem the free flow of proprietary news online.
Under the plan, to be launched in early 2011, people who read more than a certain number of articles in a month will be prompted to pay a flat monthly fee for additional access. Print subscribers will have full access to the site.
Most newspaper publishers are exploring options for charging for Web articles. But few papers have actually erected a so-called pay wall, reflecting concerns that readers will turn to countless other news sources before paying for something they are used to getting free. The Times is the most prominent newspaper so far to revise its Web strategy to cope with the recent flight of readers and advertisers from print.
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