The New York Times announced today that they will enable a paywall on March 28, 2011. In the scheme, casual readers who access few than 20 articles per month will be able to do so without charge (is this enforced by cookies or login, how well can this be enforced?). Beyond the 20 article threshold, they will require payment of $15-$35 per month:
Beginning March 28, visitors to NYTimes.com will be able to read 20 articles a month without paying, a limit that company executives said was intended to draw in subscription revenue from the most loyal readers while not driving away the casual visitors who make up the vast majority of the site’s traffic.
Once readers click on their 21st article, they will have the option of buying one of three digital news packages — $15 every four weeks for access to the Web site and a mobile phone app; $20 for Web access and an iPad app; and $35 for an all-access plan.
All subscribers who receive the paper through home delivery will have free and unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Subscribers to The International Herald Tribune, which is The Times’s global edition, will also have free digital access.
Is the New York Times and their news coverage really worth that much money?