The Times and The Sunday Times today announced the charges for access to online news content that will apply from June.
The cost will be £1 a day (the same as the print edition), or £2 for one week’s subscription. Paid customers will get access to both sites and ‘seven day subscriptions’ to the print editions will include web access for free.
Two new websites www.thetimes.co.uk and www.thesundaytimes.co.uk will launch in early May, replacing Times Online, the current combined site. This is the first time the two papers have separated their online entities. The new sites will be available for a free trial period to registered customers before the paywall is erected in June.
Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive of News International said that tabloid titles The Sun and News of the World would follow behind the paywall but did not specify when.
John Witherow, Editor of The Sunday Times, promised “new digital features to enhance our coverage and encourage interactivity” and compared the £2 a week charge to “the price of a cup of coffee”. Whether readers will think this is an investment worth making in the face of free news content available elsewhere remains to be seen.