The New York Times details Web, mobile app subscription plans launching March 28


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The New York Times pay wall, online and in-app, is going live worldwide March 28.

That is, unless you live in Canada. The New York Times digital subscription plans went live Thursday morning in Canada as a way to test the new service before the global rollout.

The newspaper known as the Gray Lady is offering three digital subscription plans, as detailed by Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in a note to readers online.


  • The Plus Smart-Phone App plan: $15 billed every four weeks gets subscribers unlimited access to and full access to the New York Times smart phone apps on Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.
  • The Plus Tablet App plan: $20 billed every four weeks allows for unlimited access to, the New York Times iPad app, Google Chrome browser app and Times Reader 2.0 -- the publication’s Adobe Air powered app for PCs.
  • And the All Digital Access plan: $35 billed every four weeks, with unlimited access to, the New York Times smart phone and tablet apps, Times Reader 2.0 and the Chrome browser app.

None of the digital subscription plans include access to the New York Times e-reader editions on Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the Kobo Reader or the Sony Reader. The New York Times crosswords apps aren’t included either, Sulzberger wrote.
Canadian residents will be able to sign up for only the Plus Smart-Phone App plan during the test period but will be able to upgrade to other plans after the March 28 rollout.

‘Today marks a significant transition for the New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions,’ Sulzberger wrote. ‘It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in the Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform.’

This will be the second time the New York Times has looked to online subscriptions to bring in revenue.

In 2005, the paper launched TimesSelect, which charged readers who didn’t subscribe to the print edition of the paper for online access to its columnists. TimesSelect lasted until 2007, when the paper opened up its website to all readers free of charge.

New York Times print subscribers will get unlimited access to the paper’s website, smart phone and tablet apps. International Herald Tribune subscribers will get unlimited access to too, but not the mobile apps.


‘If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access up to a defined reading limit,’ Sulzberger wrote. ‘If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.’

People who don’t subscribe to the print or digital versions will be allowed to view up to 20 pieces of content on -- including articles, slide shows and videos -- a month for free. Once they hit the 20-item cap, the website or app will ask them to sign up for a digital subscription, Sulzberger said.

On the smart phone and iPad apps, the ‘top news’ section will remain free of charge, but other portions of the apps will require a digital subscription, he wrote.

The content limits on will not apply to articles linked through blogs and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, even if a reader has hit the imposed cap.

Sulzberger also noted that some search engines will have a daily limit of free links to articles at, although he didn’t specify which search engines that would apply to or how those limits would work.

The homepage and Web section fronts will not be included in the monthly reader limits.

[Updated 2:35 p.m.: The New York Times has reported that a limit of 5-articles per day, per reader, will be placed on users reading articles at and linked to from Google’s search engine.]


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Top photo: is displayed on an Apple iPad on Jan. 20. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Bottom Photo: Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of The New York Times, pauses from reading a story on the Huffington Post website using an Apple iPad tablet during a session on the third day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg