NYT Now gives a 'curtailed' selection of content for $8 a month as Times Premier targets opposite end of the market at $45

The New York Times is to launch a budget digital package for just $2 a week, almost 50% cheaper than its current lowest-priced offering, in a bid to attract new subscribers.

NYT Now will be launched on 2 April, along with a new top-tier offering, Times Premier, which will be its most expensive subscription package at $45 a month.

The New York Times currently offers three digital packages, from $15 to $35 for four weeks.

A year ago Mark Thompson, chief executive of the newspaper's parent The New York Times Company, pledged to expand the product range, in particular noting a huge opportunity in the "very strong demand" for a budget offering.

The aim of the two-pronged strategy is to reinvigorate the subscriber growth rate, which was running at levels of about 70,000 additions a quarter a little over a year ago, but has since weakened to less than half that in the NYT's most recent financial filing.

The NYT launched the current version of its metered paywall around three years ago.

"Just under a year ago we outlined our strategy to expand our digital product portfolio to continue to grow digital revenues," said Thompson, speaking at the FT Digital Media Conference 2014 in London on Wednesday. "Our goal with this next phase of our paid products strategy is to satisfy the demand for Times journalism by giving new subscribers the ability to choose the amount of access they desire at a price point that suits them."

Charged at $8 for four weeks, NYT Now will offer unlimited access to a new iPhone app, the first standalone news product outdside of the standard news app, offering a "curtailed" selection of NYT content for a "fast and engaging news experience".

A staff of 11 editors will hand-select articles, videos and infographics to run on NYT Now ,which will be displayed in a "continuously updated news stream for quick reading".

"NYT Now cuts through the vast amount of content available on the web and social media to provide the most essential stories of the moment," said Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times.

The new Times Premier package is targeting the opposite end of the market, priced at $45 for four weeks, targeting the "most enthusiastic and engaged subscribers interested in the richest Times experience."

On top of access to the NYT's current top-priced All Digital package, Times Premier subscribers will also get add-ons such as Times Insider, a behind-the-scenes look at the newsroom and exclusive deals on branded merchandise.

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