WSJ News Exclusive | New York Times’ Wirecutter Product-Review Site Moves Behind Paywall

New York Times Co. plans to put its consumer product-review site Wirecutter behind a paywall as the publisher looks to further diversify its subscription business beyond its flagship news product.

Starting Wednesday, readers can purchase a stand-alone Wirecutter subscription for $5 every four weeks, or $40 annually. Those who already pay for the Times’ premium digital subscriptions or home delivery will continue to get unlimited access to Wirecutter, with no change to the subscription’s price.

The Times, in its digital incarnation, is seeking to serve some auxiliary needs that traditional print newspapers once served, including by providing recipes and games and by helping users decide what products to buy, said David Perpich, head of the Times’ stand-alone products group. Wirecutter, which the Times Company bought in 2016, is a consumer guide that reviews everything from cable modems to cat litter.

The Times and most other major news organizations have put a greater emphasis on generating subscription revenue over the past several years, in part because of the uncertainty of the online advertising market. At the Times, the core news product powered a subscription boom during the Trump years and the early stages of the pandemic, but that growth has slowed in recent quarters.

“The New York Times Company strategy has been about creating content worth paying for, and increasingly using subscription strategies to monetize those products,” said Mr. Perpich, who is the nephew of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., former chairman and publisher of the Times.

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