Independent to adopt metered paywall for overseas website readers

The Independent is set to launch a  metered paywall model for overseas visitors to the website – charging readers who access 20 stories or more a month.

According to The Guardian, The Independent plans to charge readers in North America £4.50 a month to access the website and to also launch a premium iPad app.

The Independent is also understood to be planning to cut bulks and overseas sales from The Independent’s main ABC circulation – a move could see its circulation halve from the current daily total of just over 180,000. The Guardian reports that around 70,000 bulk copies are to be transferred to cut-price stablemate i, which currently sells just over 190,000 a day, a move which would lead to a big saving on newsprint due to i’s reduced pagination.

The Independent currently attracts just under 15m unique website browsers a month, according to ABC.

The metered paywall system has worked well for the Financial Times and was adopted by the New York Times in March.

The New York Times introduced a 20-story limit for all readers online -a move which it says has gained it more than 220,000 digital subscribers so far.

Independent editor Chris Blackhurst has said that a paywall won’t work inside the UK because of competition from the BBC News website.

 

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