The Washington Post to mirror Telegraph model as it goes behind paywall

The Washington Post is set to follow the example of its US rival the New York Times by introducing a metered paywall next week.

The Post’s paywall will be phased in from 12 June and will limit non-subscribers to 20 articles a month before being asked to pay.

After the 20 article threshold, readers can pay $9.99 a month for web access or $14.99  for a “digital premium” package that includes mobile apps. Existing print subscribers will get full digital access.

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said the model is ready to be adapted as readers get used to the system.

In a letter to readers, she said: “Over the coming months, we will learn more about how everything is working, listen to reader feedback and modify our model accordingly.

“There is going to be a great deal of experimentation ahead to strike the right balance between ensuring access to critical news and information and building a sustainable business.”

The New York Times went behind a paywall in 2011. It gives readers ten free items per month and has digital subscriptions priced between $15 and $35.

The Washington Post model most closely resembles that of The Daily Telegraph, which went behind a metered paywall in April. Like the Post, The Telegraph allows readers 20 free items a month.

The latest ABC digital figures showed that the introduction of the model did not slow the growth rate of the newspaper’s digital readership. In April, Telegraph.co.uk attracted just over 3m unique users a day, up 5.8 per cent month on month and 29 per cent compared to a year previously.

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