News International has confirmed that it will be putting The Sun online behind some form of paywall later in the year. The news follows similar announcements over the past few days from other newspaper websites, including the Telegraph and The Washington Post.
Both of those sites will be following The New York Times's metered paywall business model, with the Telegraph asking for a £1.99 monthly subscription fee should readers want access to more than 20 stories a month.
There are currently no indications of what model News International will adopt for The Sun, but with 30 million monthly visitors at stake, it would have to be attractive to them. Stablemate The Times has been behind a paywall for some time now and readers can opt for three separate subscription packs.
The Web Pack costs £2 a week to access the full content on the site using a computer. The Digital Pack costs £4 a week, and also includes access on smartphones and tablets. The Classic Pack offers access on all devices, plus paper copies of The Times and Sunday Times delivered by post.
The Sun costs considerably less than The Times in the shops, so it is likely that will be reflected in the packages that will be available, should News International follow a similar path.
Of course, before the News of the World was closed, the firm put its website behind a paywall too, charging £1 a day or £1.99 a month for access. It was not seen as a successful venture by many at the time. However, with many competitors now looking to monetising their online content, it could be better timing for the publisher.
It will be interesting to see if major rival Trinity Mirror will follow suit, as often rumoured. It has already moved into using app technology to pay for physical newspapers, launching PaperPay this week.