The Independent has said that it will launch a paywall similar to that of the New York Times in the next week, following an overhaul of its entire website. Other changes to the Independent's marketing strategy include an iPad app and a radical reduction in bulk and foreign distribution.
According to the Guardian, the paywall, which is aimed at regular users in the US and Canada, will allow readers to view 20 free articles a month and pay a subscription charge of $6.99 to gain full access to the news content.
Nearly half the online readership of the Independent comes from outside the UK and the paper has identified around 100,000 US-based users, who view more than 20 pages per month.
The Independent's managing director of digital, Zach Leonard, has also announced that an iPad subscription will be part of the overhaul and that the media organisation would try to keep its charge close to newsstand prices. The development comes after an initial success with the Independent's Kindle subscription, which is currently priced at £9.99 per month. The iPad app will offer more content than the actual paper and will also publish material that cannot be found on the website.
The Independent furthermore plans to drop much of its bulk distribution to airlines and hotels from 83,159 to 10,000 copies, and replace it with free copies of the i-paper, which its hopes will raise its brand awareness on the market. Additionally the newspaper plans to promote its new international subscription service in favour of its international distribution to newsagents, which has been carried out at a loss over the last few years.