Mail introduces charges for web readers

The Mail titles are charging up to £240 a year for readers to access their columnists online. was formally launched this week with heavy promotion in both Mail titles. The target is to achieve 600,000 unique users a month for the joint site within six months.

An Associated Newspapers spokesman said: “The new site will provide the online community, of which 52 per cent of the newspapers’ present nine million readers are members, with 24-hour access to breaking news, features and columnists.”

Access to the site is mainly free, but visitors will have to subscribe to the interactive crosswords and to read columnists such as Lynda Lee-Potter, Richard Kay, Carole Caplin and Peter Hitchens. Weekly subscription packages start from £2 a week for access to one columnist, going up to £5 a week for access to all of them. Subscription to the interactive crossword is £19.95 a year.

Associated New Media editorial director Avril Williams said: “Updated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the site will boast up-to-the-minute news topped off by a thriving community allowing users to talk back to the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday for the first time.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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