In an attempt to soften declining revenue and profit, the NY Times is rolling out a new paywall system for NYTimes.com. According to its own article, "Beginning March 28, visitors to NYTimes.com will be able to read 20 articles a month without paying, a limit that company executives said was intended to draw in subscription revenue from the most loyal readers while not driving away the casual visitors who make up the vast majority of the site’s traffic."

Then:

Once readers click on their 21st article, they will have the option of buying one of three digital news packages — $15 for a month of access to the Web site and a mobile phone app; $20 for Web access and an iPad app; and $35 for an all-access plan.

All subscribers who receive the paper through home delivery will have free and unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook...

Not all visits to NYTimes.com will count toward the 20-article limit. In an effort to ensure that as many as possible of the Web site’s more than 30 million monthly readers are not deterred from visiting, The Times will allow access to people who visit through search engines like Google and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. There will, however, be a five-article limit a day for people who visit the site from Google.

There are further details here. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said, "This move is an investment in our future... It will allow us to develop new sources of revenue to support the continuation of our journalistic mission and digital innovation, while maintaining our large and growing audience to support our robust advertising business. And this system is our latest, and best, demonstration of where we believe the future of valued content — be it news, music, games or more — is going," but he admitted, "The challenge now is to put a price on our work without walling ourselves off from the global network, to make sure we continue to engage with the widest possible audience."

Canadian readers of NYTimes.com will be subject to the paywall (the Canadians are the beta testers apparently!) and All Things D says that Times subscriptions will be sold through iTunes.