Independent website

Readers of the Independent's site in North America will be given a monthly allowance of 20 articles before being prompted to subscribe

The Independent has launched a metered paywall aimed at readers in North America and Canada, as a trial of a paid content model which could be rolled out in other regions if successful.

As part of the new model, which the company is calling a "payscreen", users in North America and Canada will be given a monthly allowance of 20 articles, before they will be prompted to pay a monthly subscription of $6.99,
a similar model to that launched by the New York Times' earlier this year.

Managing director of digital at the Independent Zach Leonard, previously digital media publisher at News International, said the decision to target North America in the trial of its paywall strategy was due to a "loyal audience" in the region found to view more than 20 articles a month. The Independent is using platform Press+ to run the paywall trial.

The publisher has also announced a new iPad app which will also adopt a freemium model, with a free trial offer period to be available before charges kick in.

Pricing for the app has not yet been finalised, but Leonard said it will be "closer to the print price" and will "look across all of our channels".

"It will have all the newspaper content and that which would not make the newspaper because of pagination constraints. It will also go beyond what we would put on our website."

However production of the app will not see an increase to the workforce, unlike at News Corporation where its iPad-only newspaper the Daily saw a new team recruited to focus solely on content for the tablet.

The app will be produced using mobile publishing software Conmio, the technology behind the New York Times' app.

Leonard said the newspaper's success with the Kindle platform, another area of the tablet market, has "pleasantly surprised" the company. He revealed that in both the UK and US market there are "several thousand" subscribers each month to its Kindle edition.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).