The only major UK newspaper to embrace paywalls, The Times, is seeking to sweeten its deal this month by throwing in a subsidized Nexus 7 tablet as part of a new "Digi Bundle." In short, you get a £149 discount on the £199 32GB Nexus 7, which The Times will sell you for £50 when bought alongside an 18-month subscription to its Digital Pack. The latter provides access to the newspaper's web and mobile app content, acting as its digital subscription service, and costs £17.33 per month. The overall cost of pairing the Android 4.2 tablet and Times plus Sunday Times digital access is then £361.94, but you can chop that down with an additional discount taking the price to £299 if you opt to pay for everything in one payment up front.
More intriguing than the details of the deal is the motivation behind it. The News Corp-owned paper is acting essentially like a mobile carrier here — subsidizing the hardware and asking you to pay a monthly fee in exchange for its related services. It's a novel approach, particularly for news vendors who've struggled to justify the erection of paywalls around their web content. Perhaps now that material goods are being sold alongside content access, readers will be more willing to part with their cash.