The New York Times has announced that from next month it will only allow access to ten articles a month for free online before payment is required, compared to the 20 it allowed when it first launched its paid-content model in March last year. In a release published online the New York Times Company also announced that a year after launch it has around 454,000 paid subscribers across its digital subscription packages for the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. The New York Times paywall launched in March last year, offering three subscriber packages, from a "basic package" including access to content on NYTimes.com and the smartphone app for $15 for four weeks to a $35 package for access to the site and both the tablet and smartphone apps. These three packages remain on offer, according to the subscription page, although an introductory offer for the first four weeks seems to be available. The paywall was initially launched in Canada on 17 March then in the US and worldwide on 28 March. At the time the model allowed users to access 20 articles a month including slideshows, videos and other content. Today the company announced that this would be reduced to 10 articles a month. In an announcement on the website the New York Times says: "We think 10 articles a month, plus free access to our home page, strikes a better balance between visiting and subscribing". "Most of our readers will continue to enjoy their Times experience without interruption. At the same time, the change provides us with an opportunity to convince another segment of our audience that what The Times has to offer is worth paying for." In a statement taken from the press release, publisher of the New York Times Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., said: "Last year was a transformative one for the Times as we began to charge for digital access to our content. "Today, close to a half million people are now paying for digital content from the Times and the IHT. We knew that readers placed a high value on our journalism, and we anticipated they would respond positively to our digital subscription packages. "Our commitment to all of our subscribers, both print and digital, is that we will continue to invest in and evolve our journalism and our products, and we will remain a source of trustworthy news, information and high-quality opinion for many years to come."