|News Limited is rolling out a freemium model, paywall for The Australian which will offer a range of free general content and subscription-only content for niche categories like finance and media. The paywall is being spearheaded by the chief executive of The Australian and News Digital Media, Richard Freudenstein.
The aim of adopting the freemium model is to hold onto online traffic and the advertising revenue it attracts, while generating new forms of revenue. Subscribers will be given access to the masthead's website, apps and mobile-site for $2.95 a week.
New six-day print subscribers will receive a full digital subscrition for $7.95 a week, while existing six day a week print subscribers, who pay $6.95 a week, will receive a complimentary subscription. A new subscription plus The Weekend Australian is priced at $4.50 a week.
The Australian is the first News Limited-owned masthead to charge readers for journalism on its websites, and it is expected The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun will follow.
The industry has been divided about whether the paywall model will succeed for News Limited. The paywall model adopted by Fairfax for The Australian Financial Review has not been highly successful, however the freemium model adopted by The Australian will offer more free content.
The digital subscription service will launch with a three month free trial offer. On the same day The Australian will launch a new website and mobile site.
News Limited has this week launched a new website called Future of Journalism, containing information on digital subscription and the future of journalism.