The Baltimore Sun is the latest newspaper to add a metered paywall, for both print and non-print subscribers. A digital subscription will cost $2.49 per week or $49.99 for 26 weeks (which works out to $99.84 per year) for non-print subscribers, and $0.75 per week or $29.99 per year for print subscribers. An introductory rate of $0.99 per week for four weeks is available now for a “limited time.”
Site visitors will get fifteen free pages views per month before being asked to subscribe. Links accessed via social networking sites count toward the fifteen page views, as do blogs, photo galleries and video. Only digital subscribers will have access to the forums. The home page and section fronts, classifieds, e-mail newsletters and mobile app remain free. All household members can use a single digital subscription. The digital subscription model is operated by Press+.
The Baltimore Sun‘s sign-up page for digital subscriptions is here–but it’s not working yet (clicking “Click here to join us for just 99 cents” just refreshed the page) and I found it only after reading through the Twitter account that the paper set up to address questions about the paywall; as of this writing it is not currently promoted on the Sun’s homepage and is not accessible via the “Subscribe” page.
In a letter to readers, Sun publisher and CEO Timothy Ryan said the site got 52 million page views from 4.8 million unique visitors in August 2011. The paper says its combined print and online circulation is 1.1 million readers per week. The Baltimore Sun is owned by the Tribune Group.