Today The New York Times announced that it would begin requiring heavy users of its website to buy a digital subscription, which range from roughly $15 to $35 per month. The letter to readers from Arthur Sulzberger is below.
It's not quite what David Simon had in mind when wrote in the The Columbia Journalism Review that the Times and The Washington Post should "build a wall" and require users of digital content to pay for it—The Times will still allow people to use it's website and mobile/tablet aps for free, up to 20 articles a month—but it's a major step in that direction. The question remains whether the strategy will spread and help other beleaguered newspapers, including the Sun, regain their footing.
| An important announcement from
the publisher of The New York Times
Dear New York Times Reader,
Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.
This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
If you are a home delivery subscriber of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and the rest of our rich offerings on your computer, smartphone and tablet. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also receive free access to NYTimes.com.
If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access up to a defined reading limit. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.
This is how it will work, and what it means for you:
For more information, go to nytimes.com/digitalfaq.
Thank you for reading The New York Times, in all its forms.