wall with holes
Credit: Image by michael clarke stuff on Flickr. Some rights reserved
The New York Times has announced plans to begin metering access to its mobile apps, starting next week on 27 June.

Under the plans, non-subscribers will be able to access three stories per day from across the outlet's range of content.

"We like the metered approach because it allows users to decide what they're interested in," said Denise Warren, executive vice-president of The New York Times's digital products and services group, speaking to Journalism.co.uk.

"We think that gives them more user choice and we wanted to restore the imbalance between the amount of free content that was available on the apps versus the amount of free content that's available on the web."

At present, users have unlimited access to the Top News section of the mobile app but cannot access content elsewhere. The new system will bring the model for accessing mobile content in line with the website, where non-subscribers can access ten articles a month. All online video content will remain outside of the paywall.

"They can still scan the app and they can look at the headlines and the abstract to see what it is they're interested in reading," continued Warren. "There's no limitation on being able to scan for what they're interested in and then they can choose three that they're interested in reading."

The Times will be offering a free seven-day trial alongside the launch of the metered app, available through the latest version of the news app, which will offer users unrestricted access to content.

Warren said it was hoped that the free trial would bring more people to the app despite it already reaching "critical mass" having been downloaded 24.9 million times for smartphones and 8.3 million times on tablets.

In April, The New York Times announced a new growth strategy designed to explore other subscription models, although Warren said this announcement had been in the pipeline for some time.

"We always knew there was an inconsistency there that we wanted to address," she said, "and this really has been on our road map from our original plan."

It is a little over two years since the New York Times first introduced a paywall, a milestone Paul Smurl, general manager for core digital products, discussed with Journalism.co.uk in March.

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