∞ NY Times offers long time subscribers one-year free for Web, iPhone, iPad

The New York Times has been criticized since it announced pricing for its online and mobile editions, but the newspaper is making moves to draw users in.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]On Tuesday, the New York Times began emailing some of its long time users offering them a plan that will be hard to refuse. The new plan will give users a free one-year subscription for the Web and a mobile app, including the iPhone and iPad apps.

The customer I spoke with has been a subscriber for 12 years and received the email this afternoon. He said he took The Times up on the offer and accepted the one-year free.

In the email The Times says “as a frequent reader of NYTimes.com, you’ve demonstrated an uncommon interest in a wide variety of today’s most important topics.” The email and subscription is being sponsored by Lincoln.

The email says the offer does not include the e-reader editions, Premium Crosswords or The New York Times Crosswords apps.

On March 28, The New York Times will go live with its pay wall requiring users to have one of three digital news packages — $15 every four weeks for access to the Web site and a mobile phone app (or $195 for a full year), $20 for Web access and an iPad app ($260 a year) or $35 for an all-access plan ($455 a year).