A Scottish daily newspaper has put nearly all of its online content behind a paywall with readers invited to pay £2-99 a month to read its stories.
Only a small number of stories – marked as ‘free reads’ on the site – will now be available to view for free.
The move comes just days after the UK’s biggest-selling regional daily, the Wolverhampton-based Express and Star, announced it had scrapped its own partial paywall after nine months.
Publishers Clyde and Forth Media say the Telegraph’s digital audience has grown to 31,000 registered users over the past year.
Its print edition sold an average of 14,342 copies a day in the period January-June 2011 according to the most recent ABC figures.
Editor Anne Caine said: “With more than 150 years of proud tradition under our belt, the Telegraph is the home of local news, and it is now moving into an exciting new era.
“A phenomenal number of people, more than 30,000 and increasing every day, have already signed up to enjoy our terrific site, and many of those readers have told us how much they enjoy it.
“We hope that they will see the very modest charge we are making for our terrific content as exceptional value for money.
“This is a very bold and groundbreaking step for a group the size of Clyde and Forth Media to take, but we are confident we are offering readers a fantastic site that delivers all they need in terms of local news – throughout the day.”
To subscribe to the website will cost just £2.99 a month initially, with a cost of £3.99 if users also subscribe to the print edition.
The company plans to launch apps for tablets and smartphones in the coming weeks.