Those who like reading the New York Times but don’t want to pay for an online subscription have a new option: Starbucks. 

The New York Times announced a new partnership with the Seattle coffee giant yesterday, offering Starbucks customers free access to 15 NYT articles per day that are read using the Starbucks Digital Network (SDN).

Readers at Starbucks will be able to access up to three handpicked articles per day from five sections: Top News, Business, Tech and Most E-Mailed. The fifth section will rotate each day between several sections including sports, science and dining.

This only goes into affect for U.S. Starbucks locations that offer free AT&T Wi-Fi.

“Starbucks is the ideal setting for The Times to offer enhanced digital access,” Yasmin Namini, NYT senior vice president of marketing and circulation said in a statement. “Customers on SDN will discover a diverse selection of Times content updated in real-time, from the day’s top stories to more in-depth features and opinion.”

Interestingly enough, Jim Romensko pointed out that people at Starbucks using a Windows, Mac or Linux computer always had unlimited free access to the newspaper via its offline Times Reader 2.0 Adobe AIR application. A Starbucks rep told Romensko that 2.0 reader is being replaced by the new NYT/Starbucks agreement, though he was still able to access the content after speaking with the company.

For now, the NYT is allowing people to read up to 10 articles per month before paying for a monthly online subscription. The company is now tightening well-known loopholes around the paywall.

The Seattle Times recently announced that it will be putting up an online paywall starting in March.

Though Starbucks never gave details on financial side of the business agreement, it’s important to note how media companies like the NYT are trying to take advantage of free Wi-Fi to help promote their product. Last August, the Wall Street Journal offered free Wi-Fi hotspots in NYC and San Francisco to get people to read their content.

Previously on GeekWire: Fortune’s most-admired companies: Amazon 3rd, Starbucks 5th, Microsoft 17th

Comments

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    Does the NYT have an exception for Googlebot? If you really wanted to get around this, you could try changing your browser’s user agent to reflect the one of Googlebot, unless they employ IP checking as well if they see that it’s “Googlebot”

    Same goes for Bingbot

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