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May 28, 2013

German daily Bild to charge online for premium content and offer print readers a website ‘day-pass’

By Dominic Ponsford

Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper Bild has revealed plans to charge readers for access to features, interviews and other exclusive content.

Much news content will remain free after the paywall comes into effect on 11 June. Readers will be charged £4.27 for website access and twice that to read the e-edition version of the paper.

Print readers will be offered a day-pass to access the website via a “new printing technique” which Bild has said is a world-first.

The Telegraph reports (via AP) that this is the first significant move in Germany to persuade online readers to pay for news.

Meanwhile, in the UK the Telegraph has yet to reveal first online subscribers numbers since launching a metered paywall for foreign readers six months ago, and in the UK at the start of May. 

The Telegraph offers 20 articles a month free to UK readers before asking them to sign up as a subscriber. So far the paywall has had little effect on overall Telegraph website traffic.

Last week the Telegraph reduced the number of articles offered for free to foreign readers to 10.

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The Financial Times adopted a metered paywall in October 2007 and now offers 10 articles a month free before requiring readers to pay for access.

It has considerably more subscribers digitally than it does in print with more than 316,000 paying for online access.

The New York Times reported in February that at the end of last year its online subscriber numbers had reached 640,000 in the space of two years. It also has a metered-access model, offering readers 10 free articles a month.

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