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Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 9, visitors to gainesvilletimes.com will need a subscription to the print edition of The Times or to the website in order to gain full access to all of the newspaper website’s features.
Portions of the website, including obituaries, classifieds and some limited news content, will remain available to everyone at no charge. In addition, any urgent breaking news of widespread interest, such as weather warnings or major traffic problems, will be accessible for free.
The change to a subscriber-based Web model comes as The Times offers a number of new options for readers to get more from their online experience than ever before, including new technology and a focus on more online content.
The Times now offers apps for users of iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Androids and Kindle Fires to make online access easier.
Via the apps, readers can access a full electronic edition of each day’s paper, including every page as it appears in print; or they can navigate to the traditional website. The Times To Go apps are available at no charge from the appropriate app stores.
The full electronic edition of The Times also will be available online to subscribers beginning Wednesday, with no app required.
Those who already have a subscription to The Times will be able to visit the complete website whenever they so choose at no additional cost. Upon initially visiting the website, users only will need to create an online account if they do not already have one, and confirm that they are a subscriber.
Those who do not subscribe to The Times will be given the option online of purchasing a subscription that allows for home delivery of the newspaper and access to gainesvilletimes.com, or a digital-only subscription.
Those who subscribe online will make automated monthly payments via credit card.
New premium content with special packages of stories and photos will be added to the site and available only to those who subscribe.
Visitors to the site will be allowed to read a limited number of stories each month at no charge before being asked to subscribe.
“Subscriber-based websites are quickly becoming the standard in the newspaper industry,” Times publisher Dennis Stockton said. “Providing access to our website is a substantial value we can offer to our loyal print subscribers, and it’s something they deserve. As an industry, we have come to realize that we shouldn’t be giving away for free online what we expect people to pay for in print.
“As we make this major change we are really excited to be able to offer some technological advances that we think justify the cost of digital subscriptions. We now offer apps for the most popular electronic devices that make access to our digital news products easier than ever, and the new electronic edition will allow online readers to see the entire newspaper just as it appears in print.
“There is a lot of new technology involved in making this change, and as always seems to be the case in such ventures I’m sure some of our readers may encounter technical issues. We hope those are limited to a very few, and can be quickly resolved,” Stockton added.