Boston Globe to launch paid website
Taking a page from its parent company The New York Times Co., The Boston Globe will begin charging for full access to its website next year, the newspaper announced on Thursday.
The Times Co. plans to begin charging readers of NYTimes.com, the online version of The New York Times, early next year and The Boston Globe said it will require a paid subscription for BostonGlobe.com in the second half of 2011.
Another Boston Globe-owned site, Boston.com, will remain free, offering local news, sports and weather and guides to local entertainment, travel and restaurants, The Boston Globe said in a statement.
The Times Co. owns The Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune in addition to the flagship New York Times and 15 other newspapers.
The Boston Globe said the move to paid and free websites is designed to "better serve a wide array of consumers and advertisers as part of a two-brand strategy."
The newspaper said full access to stories and other content published in The Boston Globe will be limited to paid subscribers. It did not mention a price for a digital-only subscription.
A subscription to BostonGlobe.com will be provided for free to print subscribers of the newspaper.
"Our research shows that Boston.com currently attracts several different types of users," Boston Globe publisher Christopher Mayer said.
"Some are readers whose main interest is breaking news and things to do, while others want access to the entirety of The Boston Globe.
"These two distinct sites will allow us to serve both types of readers with maximum effectiveness, while continuing to provide advertisers the large engaged audience they have come to expect from Boston.com," Mayer said.
Mayer told the Globe that the newspaper is also developing a range of Globe-branded digital products for smartphones, tablet computers and other devices.
US newspapers have been seeking new revenue streams amid a steady decline in print advertising revenue and circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
The New York Times plans to begin charging readers for full access to NYTimes.com early next year and the Times Co., like other US newspaper companies, is developing news applications for devices such as the iPad.
The Boston Globe is part of the Times Co.'s New England Media Group which comprises The Boston Globe, Boston.com, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Telegram.com.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette last month began charging for full access to the Massachusetts newspaper's website.
The Times Co. sought to sell The Boston Globe last year but was unable to find a buyer for the struggling daily. A threat to shut down the newspaper was withdrawn following concessions from the newspaper's unions.
(c) 2010 AFP