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 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.