The New York Times reports that media industry bigwigs are building the technology to offer metered content as a turnkey solution to existing news brands:
As the company envisions the system, a non-paying reader on a magazine or newspaper site would reach a certain point and see a page asking for payment — the Journalism Online system, operating within the publication’s Web site. But a reader who wanted a subscription to multiple sites would go directly to the new company’s own site.
They way they’ve described it, it would take a little collusion, but essentially I think it’s a good system. What they have to remember is that they’re charging for their brands, not their content.