New York Times Scales Back Free Articles to Get Readers to Subscribe


The New York Times, seeking to amass more paid subscriptions in an era of non-stop, must-read headlines, is halving the number of articles available for free on digital platforms each month.

Starting Friday, most non-subscribers will only be able to read five articles rather than 10 before they’re asked to start paying. It’s the first change to the paywall in five years. A basic Times subscription, with unlimited access to the website and all news apps, is $15 every four weeks.

Scoops on the Trump administration’s scandals and sexual-harassment allegations in Hollywood have already contributed to a surge in Times subscriptions, which jumped 60 percent in September from a year earlier to 2.5 million. With demand for journalism “at an all-time high,” the Times decided this was the right moment to experiment with giving away less online content for free, says Meredith Kopit Levien, The New York Times Co.’s executive VP and chief operating officer.

The New York Times, seeking to amass more paid subscriptions in an era of non-stop, must-read headlines, is halving the number of articles available for free on digital platforms each month.

Starting Friday, most non-subscribers will only be able to read five articles rather than 10 before they’re asked to start paying. It’s the first change to the paywall in five years. A basic Times subscription, with unlimited access to the website and all news apps, is $15 every four weeks.

Scoops on the Trump administration’s scandals and sexual-harassment allegations in Hollywood have already contributed to a surge in Times subscriptions, which jumped 60 percent in September from a year earlier to 2.5 million. With demand for journalism “at an all-time high,” the Times decided this was the right moment to experiment with giving away less online content for free, says Meredith Kopit Levien, The New York Times Co.’s executive VP and chief operating officer.

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