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Archive charge from September

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The New York Times will start charging users for access to its archive and opinion pieces from September. The paper will charge $49.95 a year for access to old stories dating back to 1980.

The TimeSelect service will also give access to opinion pieces, news columnists, content from the International Herald Tribune and an early look at some articles before they appear in the paper.

Subscribers also get TimesNewsTracker - an email news alert service currently sold separately. Most of the news will remain free to registered users.

NYT paid $410m for about.com earlier this year to strengthen its online offering. About.com provides readers with information on everything from pregnancy to woodworking. The site claims 22m users, which together with NYT's 13m users makes the firm the 12th largest online.

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first media brands to move to subscriptions. It claims 2.1m subscribers both off and online. British newspapers including the Independent have tried moving to a subscription model but have moved back to free access recently.

Press release available here. ®

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