A leading regional publisher is carrying out a trial under which users will have to register in order to get full access to content.
Although there will be no paywall imposed, the system of registration will activate once a certain number of articles have been read.
Thereafter, readers will have to sign-up in order to continue getting free access to content.
If successful, the trial is likely to be rolled out across other JP websites over the coming months.
Martin Little, the publisher’s director of digital content, said: “As part of our digital content improvement strategy, we have recently piloted a metered registration system with Sunderland Echo, the Derbyshire Times and Doncaster Free Press.
“This process continues to allow our readers completely free access to our news sites and activates only after a certain number of articles have been read.
“This will enable us to develop our websites and the overall customer experience, by offering relevant, improved content to our most engaged readers.”
Wrote Phil: “We’re always looking at ways of making the experience on our websites better for you, our readers. Once you’re signed in, we’ll be able to make sure the content you see is more relevant to you, and you’ll be able to help us continue to improve it.”
Phil also assured readers that their details would not be passed on to third parties and invited feedback on the proces.
In November 2009, Johnston Press trialled a paywall on some of its newspaper sites, including the Whitby Gazette and the Southern Reporter, in which readers were asked to pay a £5 subscription to read stories in full, but the project was quietly dropped in March 2010.