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When Times Reader, powered by Microsoft software, started its beta last September, the company said no decision had been made about charging for the service and the fine print warned that a commercial edition might not be released. Last month when I asked after a comment by Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to Ha’Aretz about charging, I was told the company was still looking at several approaches. Today, they finally told beta users via blog and email that when Times Reader launches officially March 27 it will be as a subscription service but will be included with NYT home-delivery subscriptions.
— A standalone subscription will run $165 a year or $14.95 a month with access to TimesSelect and Premium Crosswords.
— Times Reader will be free to home-delivery subs as is the case with TimesSelect.( It’s not clear whether print subscribers also will have access to Premium Crosswords; I’m checking on that. Update: They do, according to an NYT rep.)
— Beta users who sign up before launch will get 14 months for the price of 12. The same offer is extended to subscribers of the TimesReader newsletter.
Update: The official release is out. The service comes with a 30-trial and a seven-day archive.
— NYT: No Decision Yet On Charging For Times Reader?