Murdoch introduces paywall for The Australian
Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd said Tuesday it would start charging for online access to national broadsheet The Australian from October, although some content will remain free.
The newspaper's paywall will be modelled on the media mogul's Wall Street Journal, offering a mix of free and subscription-only material.
It will charge Aus$2.95 (US$3.17) a week for its Monday to Friday editions, giving access to its entire website, iPad and Android apps as well as a new "m-site" specifically designed for mobile phones.
The cost will rise to Aus$4.95 to include The Weekend Australian.
Non-subscribers will still be able view breaking news, general news and stock market reports without paying, said Richard Freudenstein, chief executive of News Limited's digital business and The Australian.
"We believe that The Australian journalism has real value online as well as in print, and extensive research suggests our readers agree," he said.
"The introduction of subscription packages will not only open up a new and important revenue stream, but also give us a much closer, more valuable, relationship with our most loyal and engaged readers."
Since Murdoch's News Corp. announced its intention to launch digital subscriptions in 2009 to counter shrinking newspaper circulation and eroding print advertising revenue, at least 50 papers around the world have begun charging for online journalism.
The Australian said a similar "freemium" model is expected to be extended to its sister tabloid papers -- Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Melbourne's Herald-Sun -- at a later date.
(c) 2011 AFP