Readers wanting to access The Times and the Sunday Times websites will have to pay £1 a day or £2 per week from June, News International has revealed.

Currently, the publications use the combined Times Online site. However, from May both titles will get their own separate websites but the charge will allow access to both sites.

News International, owned by Australian Rupert Murdoch and part of the same group as BSkyB, also said it will offer a free trial to web users that register with the site.

Chief executive at News International, Rebekah Brooks, said the move was "a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition".

"We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value," said Brooks.

"This is just the start. The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach. We will continue to develop our digital products and to invest and innovate for our customers."

News International also publishes The Sun and News of the World, both of which are currently free to access online.