Variety to begin charging for Web access Thursday

December 9, 2009

(AP) -- The Hollywood trade newspaper Variety is putting its Web site behind a "pay wall" starting Thursday. That means it will be reserving its online content for paid subscribers and hoping its advertisers stick around despite the smaller online audience.

Variety plans to shut off free access gradually. After about two months, the newspaper plans to block free access for good, ending an experiment with free online content that it began in October 2006.

The 104-year-old expects to lose many of its roughly 2.5 million monthly online visitors. But it puts more value on the 25,000 to its daily printed version and 30,000 subscribers of its weekly edition. Those people will get Web access included in their subscriptions.

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