Five bucks a month for online news?

THE New York Times could settle on US$5 a month as the magic number for access to their website in a pay-per-view format, Bloomberg reported.

The US$5 figure emerged as the newspaper quizzed subscribers about their willingness to pay for online content.

The subscriber survey suggested that the US$5 would open up all content of what is the most popular newspaper website in the US, the report said. NYTimes.com is currently free to view, after it flirted with a pay-for-premium-content model two years ago.

The company also floated a smaller US$2.50 figure in the survey.

The possible US$5-per-month figure is one of the first specific developments in the news site paywall debate, as media companies consider new business models to monetise content in the online space in the face of weak advertising revenues.

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