The Telegraph is reportedly to introduce a three-tier payment option for users as part of its “Project Plane” paywall due to launch in September, Media Week reports.
The project is being led by chief commercial officer Steve McLaughlin, managing director Dave King, and digital editor Edward Roussell who are said to have worked closely with their American counterparts at the New York Times, a publication that implemented its own paywall at the end of last month.
In February we reported that the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) had already contacted a number of digital agencies to help adapt the Telegraph website, which currently features content from The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. At the time sources suggested that the TMG would adopt a similar strategy to the Financial Times, where it would offer limited free access to content before requiring the reader to subscribe to view any additional content.
Similar to the New York Times, The Telegraph is said to be considering putting its personal finance coverage, its crossword and wine club subscriptions behind its most premium offering, providing subscribers to its mid-tier option with travel coverage and the most basic package including general news content.
Access could remain free to some content, particularly from Internet searches and social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook, allowing readers to share breaking stories without having to subscribe.
The Telegraph would be the second broadsheet newspaper to put its content behind a paywall, following The Times which launched paid access in July 2010.
Update: The Telegraph Media Group has issued the following statement, in response to Media Week’s report:
“Absolutely no decisions have been made on the introduction of a paid-content model. Like all publishers, TMG continually evaluates the developments in the digital sector.”