Time Erects Pay Wall, Launches All-Access Plan

Starting Thursday readers can purchase a $30 plan encompassing print, web and tablet

Time magazine joined the list of publications putting up a paywall on Tuesday, but it is also offered its subscribers an “all-access” plan for the magazine across all platforms.

Starting Thursday, readers can purchase the $30 plan, which includes both print and web subscriptions, as well as an app for the iPad and other tablets.

Two other options are the one-week pass to access magazine content online ($4.99/week) and a monthly all-access subscription ($2.99/month).

Those who sign up for none of those plans can still read articles on the website, but they will not have access to articles from the magazine for three months. The Time release says that 95 percent of the site’s content is original and distinct from the magazine.

This is the second plan of this nature that Time Inc. has released this year. The first was for Sports Illustrated, but in that case the app was only for Android phones.

Now that magazines only have to follow Apple’s iTunes subscription terms and not use the subscription service, they can create iPad apps without surrendering subscriber information.

Here's the press release:

Readers Will Now Pay A One-Time Subscription Fee To Get the Print Edition
Plus Access to Tablet Apps and the New Magazine Channel On TIME.com

(New York, July 19, 2011)—TIME announced today that, starting this week, subscribers will now pay one price for an “All Access” subscription to TIME magazine content wherever they want to read it: in print, online and on tablet apps. This subscription model rewards loyal customers with more choice and quality at no additional cost.

With TIME’s “All Access,” current subscribers to TIME will continue to receive the print magazine, plus have access to a new paid magazine channel on TIME.com and be able to download their issues on Apple iPad, HP Touchpad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. The TIME.com magazine channel will be a paid section of the website that will contain all new magazine content on an ongoing basis beginning with this week’s issue. Subscribers will activate their “All Access” accounts using their existing magazine account number or mailing address.

New subscribers will have three options to access TIME magazine content: 1. Subscribe to TIME “All Access” for $30/year and receive 56 print issues, full online access and all tablet apps 2. Sign up for a 1-week short term pass to access magazine content on TIME.com for $4.99/ week 3. Sign up for a $2.99/month “All Access” subscription. Each month readers get all of the print editions of TIME, the tablet editions and access to magazine content on TIME.com. This subscription can be cancelled anytime.

The new magazine channel on TIME.com is one of a series of new content verticals the site has launched in the past year and a half, including Newsfeed, Swampland, Lightbox, Techland, Healthland and MoneyLand. TIME.com has 95% original content separate and distinct from magazine content and has broken multiple traffic records in 2011. In June, the site had 93 million pages views, up 31% year over year, and 11.3 million unique visitors, up 27% year over year, according to comScore. TIME is up in ad pages and revenue for the first six months of the year, up 8.1% in pages and 11.2% in revenue. TIME is the #1 magazine brand on Twitter with more than 2.6 million followers.

TIME is the second Time Inc. title to launch a subscription plan allowing consumers to pay once and access their content across multiple platforms. Sports Illustrated announced a similar “All Access” plan in February 2011.