Last week the Boston Globe officially instituted some major changes to their online properties. Following in the footsteps of The Wall Street Journal and their parent company, The New York Times, the Boston Globe launched a subscription-only site, BostonGlobe.com, which will be available in addition to the already existing and free, Boston.com.
BostonGlobe.com was officially launched in September, but the subscription fee is taking affect this month. To access the content on BostonGlobe.com moving forward, readers must pay $3.99 per week. However, people that already subscribe to the print edition will receive access to BostonGlobe.com without any additional cost.
As you can guess, BostonGlobe.com is designed to mirror the print edition, and according to the press release, it will be the only site to provide access to the full range and depth of the Boston Globe’s journalism, while also offering video, photo galleries and breaking news throughout the day. Another bonus and big selling point for subscribers is that it will also be optimized for reading on a tablet, smartphone and PC.
So what are the differences between Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com? Boston Globe spokesperson Bob Powers explained this in an email to RaceTalk: “We are separating the brands to appeal to different audiences and so the two sites will have major distinctions in content and layout. There will, however, be some shared content. For instance the sports site on Boston.com will contain most of the sports content from BostonGlobe.com. Boston.com will also have five stories per day from the Globe. Boston.com will accent interaction and things to do, but will also be a general news site.”
For the loyal Boston Globe readers that have received the print edition on their doorstep for decades, BostonGlobe.com should convince them the move to digital isn’t bad. With the latest content throughout the day, rich multimedia and sharing options, this site could be reason alone to buy a tablet.
A big question we had following this news is what these change means for Boston Globe employees, who in the summer of 2009 made major concessions to avoid being shutdown by the New York Times Co. (see our interview with Boston Globe reporter Sean P. Murphy). According to Powers, the same newsroom will create the content for both BostonGlobe.com and Boston.com. However, each site will have a separate editor, and the reporters will report to the appropriate editor for each particular story.
Powers also added that there will be separate Twitter handles and Facebook pages for each site, which tells us that the Boston Globe will continue to hold social media in high importance.
What do you think of the Boston Globe’s new subscription-only site? Will you subscribe to BostonGlobe.com?