Rise of the paywalls: Telegraph and The Sun to start charging for website access

The Telegraph is to launch a metered paywall for its website following a successful international trial of the system.

Just hours after the Telegraph announcement, News International chief executive Mike Darcey revealed that The Sun will start charging for online access later this year in time to capitalise on a £20m deal to show near-live video clips of Premiership football matches.

The Telegraph, which claims to have more subscribers than any other UK national, will allow web users to read 20 free articles a month.
 
In November last year the Telegraph launched a metered paywall model, similar to that used by the New York Times, for its international users.

The title claims that 90 per cent of those who signed up for a month-long free trial went on to subscribe to the site.

Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher said: “The Telegraph publishes the finest writers in Britain. We want to develop a closer rapport with our digital audience in the UK, and we intend to unveil a number of compelling digital products for our loyal subscribers in the months ahead."

Graham Horner, marketing director of Telegraph Media Group, said: “This step marks the next stage in our subscription strategy.  Our priority is always to deliver choice and value to our customers; the continual evolution of our subscription packages ensures that we deliver on this promise.”   

The Telegraph is offering two digital subscription packages. The Web Pack - at £1.99 a month, or £20 a year - offers unlimited access to the website and smartphone apps. The full Digital Pack – at £9.99 a month or £99 a year – includes access to The Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers on tablet devices.

Telegraph.co.uk is the third most popular UK national newspaper online. It attracted some 3,129,599 unique browsers a day worldwide in January. The monthly total was 61.4m unique browsers.

Earlier this month TMG announced it was merging its daily and Sunday titles and cutting 80 editorial jobs. Staff were also told that 50 new digital jobs were to be created as part of an £8m investment to “complete our transition to a digital business”.

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