N.Y. Times Tightens Paywall to Cut Free Articles Access in Half

Non-subscribers will only get 10 free articles each month

The New York Times is fortifying its pay wall. 

The newspaper said Tuesday that beginning in April it will cut the number of free articles that non-subscribers are allowed to read in half. Visitors to the site will be able to access ten articles a month as opposed to 20. 

The move comes a year after the paper first erected its paywall. 

Readers who come to Times articles through links from e-mail, search, blogs and social media will continue to be able to access those individual articles, even if they have reached their reading limit, the paper said. 

Also read: N.Y. Times Profits Drop Despite Online Subscriber Growth

As it continues to lose print subscribers and ad revenue, the Times has positioned its paywall as a potential game changer. The Times and International Herald Tribune command 454,000 paid digital subscribers, the paper said. 

At the same time, traffic to the Times website has remained steady with the paywall having no negative impact on the paper's web audience. 

The Times draws 33 million monthly users in the United States and 48 million globally. The Times' relative success has helped encourage other newspaper publishers to undertake similar initiatives. The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Providence Journal are just a few of the notable publications that have recently taken their content behind a paywall or announced their intention to charge for access to digital content. 

However, the paper's digital gains have not been enough to offset its print losses. Last year, revenue decreased 2.8 percent to $643 million thanks to a 7.1 drop in advertising revenues, while the company's operating profit fell four percent to $106.7 million.