USA Today to charge for online content

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USA Today announced Wednesday that it is putting digital content behind a paywall for the first time.

Much of the outlet’s breaking news stories will still be free to readers, with premium content consisting of “exclusive investigations, sophisticated visual explainers, thought-provoking takes on the news and immersive storytelling,” the newspaper said.

“This is a big change; our digital news has always been free,” said Editor-in-Chief of USA Today Nicole Carroll and Maribel Perez Wadsworth, the publisher and director of news for all of Gannett, the newspaper’s parent company.

“But USA Today was founded on boldness. Your subscription is an investment in quality journalism that’s worth paying for, journalism that strengthens our communities and our nation,” they said.

Readers can purchase different monthly subscriptions, The New York Times reported.

The first subscription starts at $4.99 and goes up to $9.99 for digital-only content. The second tier starts at $7.99 and goes up to $12.99 for digital content with no ads. The third option starts at $9.99 then rises to $29.95, which provides full digital access and home delivery of the print edition.

USA Today receives 90 million unique readers a month, making it competitive with other outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. All three of those publications have implemented paywalls as readership continues to shift from print to online.

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