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James Harding, editor of The Times, has confirmed Times Online will start charging for content in the spring and revealed key details of the paywall.
Speaking at the Society of Editors’ conference in Stansted, Essex, Harding said the site would charge for 24-hour passes to the site in addition to a subscription model.
Harding’s confirmation comes a week after nma revealed a Times Online paywall would be introduced as early as Q1 2010 (nma 12 November 2009). This was despite Times Online owner Rupert Murdoch recently admitting his paid content plans are likely to be delayed.
Harding said, “From spring of next year we will start charging for the digital edition of The Times. We’re working on the exact pricing model, but we’d charge for a day’s paper, for a 24-hour sign-up to The Times. We’ll also establish a subscription price as well.”
Harding later revealed to Press Gazette that a day’s access to Times Online would be around the same amount as the print copy, currently costing 90p.
He rejected the notion of charging micropayments per article. “You have to be very careful with article-only economics. You will find yourself writing a lot more about Britney Spears and a lot less about Tamils in northern Sri Lanka,” he said.
Other publishers charging for online content include fellow News International title the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and The Spectator.