Independent and Times mull plans to charge for online content

LONDON - The Independent and The Times are reportedly considering introducing paid-for content on their websites.

Read Gordon's Republic blog post -- Free lunch is over says The Economist as Indy talks about charging.

Gavin O'Reilly, the new chief executive of Independent News & Media, owner of The Independent, said that although he had not formalised any plans, he was looking at paid-for offerings on INM's websites, according to a report in The Telegraph.

O'Reilly said: "Our experience has been that the web is a financially deflationary area. I think we will see more and more content moving to subscription.

"We are looking at some charge structure. If we are giving all our content away, it's obviously necessary."

As the media industry continues to struggle with diminishing ad revenues amid the recession, The Independent is just one of a number of titles mulling plans to start charging for content online.

News International, owner of The Times, is also considering a paid-for offering for Times Online, according to the Telegraph.

Last month Bill Keller, The New York Times editor, said that his title was looking into ways to start charging for its content.

His thoughts were echoed last week by Ann S Moore, the chief executive of Time Inc, who said the US magazine giant was considering making its most successful titles and subscription based.

New York tabloid Newsday announced last month that it would begin charging for access to its website.

Newsday is not the only US newspaper site to charge for content. The Wall Street Journal has a successful subscription-based section on its website, as does the UK's

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