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Britain's The Sun to take down online paywall

[LONDON] Britain's The Sun newspaper will get rid of almost the entire paywall on its website next month just two years after installing it, the company said on Friday.

The Sun, whose print version is Britain's best-selling daily, has been making more and more content available for free on its website in recent months.

"As of November 30, The Sun will be predominantly free in the digital world," Helen Collier, a spokeswoman for US media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's News UK, which owns The Sun, told AFP.

The content that remains paying will include the Club Dream Team, a popular fantasy football game, and The Sun Classic, a special app to download the entire print edition of the paper for offline reading.

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"Recent months have been filled with experimentation at The Sun," Ms Collier said, pointing out that it had increased stories on social media and entered platform partnerships with Apple News as well as planning cooperation with Facebook Instant Articles.

The Guardian newspaper said that the removal of the paywall was a "bid to compete with rivals such as MailOnline", the Daily Mail's hugely popular website which has around 200 million monthly unique browsers.

The Sun had 1,108,861 unique browsers in September, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures.

When it began charging readers for access in 2013, then editor David Dinsmore said: "Asking readers to pay for content is the only way to protect the future of the newspaper industry".

"This is a landmark event for The Sun and a testament to the pioneering attitude of Britain's best-selling newspaper," Mr Dinsmore said.



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