However, Claire Enders, of media research company Enders Analysis, says that anyone who believes the Times papers will get a 5% conversion is in "dreamland".
The editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, is a leading sceptic of paywalls and has vowed to keep most of the content of his newspaper free online. In January he described the move towards paywall business models as a "hunch".
SHOOT: Very few people who are in the habit of consuming the news 'free' off the radio and other substitutes will, in this economy, go for paying for online content. News just isn't that important, or that necessary.
Privately, executives admit the two papers are likely to lose thousands of regular online readers - and millions of more casual ones - says BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas.