News Corp.’s international unit will start charging tomorrow for online access to The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers based in London, the first steps in the media company’s bid to get readers to pay for news on the Web.
Internet sites for both newspapers will be available for 1 pound ($1.50) a day or 2 pounds a week, News International said in a statement today. Customers who register for long-term use of the sites can pay a promotional price of 1 pound for the first 30 days, while subscribers to the newspapers’ print editions will automatically receive online access, it said.
The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of four News International titles in the U.K. to move to an online-pay model. They are among the first general-interest English-language newspapers to charge for web access as publishers search for new ways to earn revenue and curb free sharing of their news on Internet search engines and aggregator sites. The New York Times plans to erect an Internet paywall next year.