The Sun's online content will tomorrow disappear behind a paywall. Love it or hate it, such a move by the best-known newspaper in the UK marks a major milestone for the industry.
However, whatever success The Sun has it's unclear what we'll really learn about whether tabloid journalism can pay its own way online.
The Sun has made a sizeable investment in Premiership football rights and will launch its paywall with a Sun+ Goals app as its hero product. It will include exclusive football highlights and content.
TV and radio adverts, which the company plans to bombard us with from Friday, will make clear that football - and the ability to watch goals wherever you are - is the reason why readers should sign up.
Free to those who buy The Sun newspaper via a unique code in every paper (from Sunday 4 August) and priced at £2 per week for those who don't, the lure of football clips wherever you are - online, on tablet and on mobile - may be enough to attract the kind of numbers that will allow News UK to declare it an early success. But it could be argued that all that may really tell us is that people are prepared to pay to watch Premiership football - which we already knew.
However, Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK, rejects that notion and insists the overall bundle is about far more than football highlights and accompanying content, including live match day blogs and a twice-daily football show which will air on the app and online.
Football may be the lure and the focus of the marketing because it is the newest component of the bundle but Darcey is confident once signed up people will continue to read the news and comment from the Sun's journalists.
Speaking at the Sun's London headquarters, Darcey said:
"The newspaper has always been about a bundle and the bundle is getting bigger. Our newspaper is already respected for its sports coverage and now we're adding sports clips on web, mobile and tablet to that sports coverage. But you can't unbundle it. I have faith people will still value the journalism."
The football offering is certainly strong with some nice touches that bridge the newspaper and digital divide. For example, match reports in the paper will carry a code which can be scanned with a smartphone, allowing readers who have bought the paper to instantly view the highlights which accompany the match reports.
Derek Brown, The Sun's digital editor, agrees this move is all about that bridge and about creating an online bundle which complements the traditional flagship paper in which sport is such a major part. Brown insisted "we are not going 'digital first'".
Looking after a "hard core" of Sun readers is the priority for News UK in this new age and that means accepting the overall numbers online will fall. The company claims 32 million unique users have visited the Sun's website during July but Darcey concedes that number includes "a very long tail" which will now be lost.
"Many of those people may be overseas, they might just be reading one story then heading off and they may not even know they're on the Sun's website."
The remaining "hard core" may represent a fraction of the reader numbers the website currently sees but Darcey said losing millions of users in this way is easier to reconcile than basing a business model indefinitely on the hope some people will continue to pay for something which is being given away free elsewhere, especially as advertisers continue to lose their appetite for big numbers in favour of specific, demonstrable demographics.
The increased focus on sport will certainly bolster the Sun's appeal to many of its key advertisers and bookmaker Paddy Power is already on board as the betting partner for the launch of the football service.
It is easy to believe the launch will prove successful for News UK and for the longevity of The Sun brand and by extension much of its journalism.
But the paper has clearly recognised the need to differentiate its whole content offering - above and beyond its journalism - before it could expect audiences to part with cash online. Other "Sun perks" will include digital content such as books, movies and music downloads offered free to subscribers.
The Times may have had success drawing readers through its paywall with the lure of journalism that had an increased focus on unique comment and opinion but the lesson its sister paper may be about to teach the industry is that if you want to sell tabloid journalism online, you don't necessarily start with the journalism.