The New York Times debuts digi sub model in Canada

Following months of speculation, the newspaper beta-launched its new paywall in Canada Thursday.

Pony up, Canadian New York Times readers.

The newspaper on Thursday announced the beta-launch of its new digital subscription model in Canada, 10 days before its US debut.

The structure of the paper’s paywall has been the subject of months of speculation. As it turns out, the paywall will be a hybrid of sorts, allowing readers access 20 articles per month on and its mobile apps for free. Readers wishing to view more than 20 articles are asked to sign up for a paid digital subscription. Home delivery subscribers can access digital content for free.

The Times’ Top News section on its mobile apps will remain free to all readers, as will the homepage and section fronts.

The subscription model will be offered in three packages: online plus smartphone app ($15/four weeks), online plus tablet app ($20/four weeks) and full digital access ($35/four weeks).

However, the paywall also features an interesting loophole – readers who access articles via third-party sources (such as search, blogs or social media) will be able to read the linked content regardless of the status of their reading limit. Some search engines, the Times said in a release, will have a daily limit of free links to the newspaper’s content. The subject of linked content has been a hot one in the media community following the success of online ventures such as the Huffington Post, which is a high-volume aggregator of third-party content.

‘Today marks a significant transition for the Times, an important day in our 159-year history of evolution and reinvention,’ Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of the New York Times, said in a release. ‘Our decision to begin charging for digital access will result in another source of revenue, strengthening our ability to continue to invest in the journalism and digital innovation on which our readers have come to depend.’