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New York Times unveils mobile meter to balance out app user experience

The New York Times is planning to meter its mobile applications and let readers access up to three articles a day across any section.

The change will begin on June 27. Non-subscribers will have access to three stories per day from across all of the publication?s 25-plus sections, blogs and slideshows.

?This change has been on our roadmap since the early days of our digital subscription model,? said Linda Zebian, a spokeswoman for The New York Times, New York.

?We wanted to balance out the app user-experience and the amount of free content available with that of the mobile Web site, as well as the browser experience on,? she said.

?We also wanted to open the apps so users could explore all of the content available on our mobile apps and choose content that interests them, whether it is in Top News or not.?

Driving readership
As part of the effort, non-subscribers can also browse section fronts and article summaries.

Moreover, video remains free in the apps.

Content beyond three articles per day will be available only to subscribers.

This latest effort is different from the company?s current model, where non-subscribers can only access the top news section on mobile news apps.

The change will go across the New York Times? iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7.5 and above, BlackBerry 10 and The New York Times on Flipboard apps.

To help celebrate the launch of the mobile meter, the New York Times will offer a seven-day free trial, including access to all sections of the apps, to users who update or download the latest versions of the iOS and Android news apps for phones and tablets.

Past efforts
The New York Times is no stranger when it comes to mobile.

Last year, the New York Times rolled out an Election 2012 mobile application that aimed to be a comprehensive resource for those that are following this year?s presidential campaign (see story).

Most recently, the New York Times updated its Scoop mobile application with content from New York?s new Citi Bike program (see story).

?Mobile continues to be a very important part of our corporate strategy,? Ms. Zebian said.

?We know that our users are very active on mobile devices and we want them to be able to access our best-in-class journalism on the platforms and devices they use,? she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York