Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Boston Globe launches premium paywall site as companion to free news site for casual readers



To offset declining advertising revenues and print subscriptions, on Monday, Sept. 12, the Boston Globe launched a subscription-only news site that will offer additional newspaper content, breaking news and special multimedia features not available on the Globe's free, previously existing site, Boston.com, reported the Associated Press.

Bostonglobe.com will cost $3.99 per week, although access will be free to subscribers of the print edition. The paywall will not go up until the end of September, giving readers time to test out the new site before they subscribe, Reuters said.

The previous site, Boston.com, will continue to exist. The whole point of the new paywall site is to offer readers premium content, meant to attract more than just the casual reader, explained WBUR, Boston's NPR station. This FAQ from the Boston Globe helps explain which content will be on the free site and which will be on the paid site.

Built using “responsive design” techniques, Bostonglobe.com will adjust its size and capabilities depending on what kind of device it is being viewed, according to Poynter.org. There are six different layouts, depending on whether the reader is using an iPad, laptop or some other device.

Bostonglobe.com follows The New York Times' launch of its metered paywall in March. That paywall allows readers to access a certain amount of free content before they have to pay. Like the Boston Globe's two-site approach, both newspapers seem to be betting that there are "two different kinds of readers – some understand journalism needs to be funded and paid for. Other people just won't pay," as Globe editor Martin Baron said in The Guardian.



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