Telegraph paywall to charge overseas visitors £1.99 a month

05/11/2012

The Daily Telegraph has launched a paywall on its website, charging visitors outside the UK a flat-rate fee of £1.99 a month to view articles, after they have viewed 20 articles for free. Telegraph.co.uk is moving to a metered paywall model similar to the New York Times on Thursday after years of planning. The US in particular has become a key target for online newspapers, including the Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Mail.

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The move has been in the pipeline at Telegraph Media Group for more than two years. It has been hit by continued delays and has been hampered by the departure of several key executives.

The introduction of this paywall supports the view that consumers are more willing to pay for online content than previously thought.

In fact, Forrester Research predicted that the online paid content market will be worth £8 billion by 2017.

TMG said that two-thirds of its online audience is based outside the UK. International markets, particularly the US, have become a major new battleground for British publishers including the Guardian and the Daily Mail in attempting to expand and generate revenue from online news.

The TMG executive editor of digital, Edward Roussel, said in a statement: "Telegraph writers include many of the world's finest journalists on areas such as politics, international affairs, sport and business.

"There is a growing global demand for first-class journalism. The Telegraph already has a strong subscriber base of loyal readers in the UK. Our subscription model is now being extended globally."

Telegraph.co.uk is the third-most popular national newspaper website in the UK, behind guardian.co.uk and Mail Online, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.

The site had 2.7 million daily average browsers in October, a 34% boost on the previous year, and it has now topped 50 million browsers a month.

Edward Roussel, the Telegraph Media Group chief executive, said: "There is a growing global demand for first-class journalism.

"The Telegraph already has a strong subscriber base of loyal readers in the UK. Our subscription model is now being extended globally."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the group added that there are no plans to introduce the paywall in the UK.

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