News Limited is set to announce plans to start charging readers to view The Australian newspaper’s website from later this month.
The announcement that the paper’s premium online content will only be available to subscribers who pay $2.95 a week will be made on Thursday.
Some content, like breaking news and basic stock market data, will remain free.
It will make The Australian the country’s first mainstream newspaper site to use a subscription model, but some industry analysts believe it will not work.
It has been News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch’s intention all along to make people pay to read online news content.
News Limited says its readers will be happy to pay because the rise of mobile internet means they can view content wherever they are.
“Digital devices give newspaper publishers the chance to reach readers from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” News Limited’s digital media chief executive Richard Freudenstein said earlier this year.
“We believe that the Australian journalism has real value online as well as in print, and extensive research suggests our readers agree.
“The introduction of subscription packages will not only open up a new and important revenue stream, but also give us a much closer, more valuable relationship with our most loyal and engaged readers.”
Some newspapers overseas, like the Wall Street Journal, have managed to make readers pay for online content.
But others, like Mr Murdoch’s Times broadsheet in the UK, have struggled to attract subscribers.
In Australia, the Financial Review website is subscription-only, but some analysts are sceptical about whether it will work for Australia’s mainstream papers.