Paywall, begone—for a limited time, that is. Starting this past Monday and lasting until May 6, The Boston Globe is offering readers a free trial of all of its online content on BostonGlobe.com to show off its new elements and try to gain some new subscribers in the process, paidContent reported.
By entering their email addresses, users will have complete access to online content, including the downloadable ePaper version of The Boston Globe, the article said. The free trial, which also includes a deal in which users can subscribe online for $0.99 for the first eight weeks, is sponsored by Coldwell Banker, according to the Globe website.
Peter Doucette, Globe Executive Director of Circulation Sales and Marketing, told paidContent, “The impetus for the free trial is getting the word out on new features, including the Boston Globe ePaper.”
As we previously reported, The Boston Globe launched its ePaper version, a replica of the print edition that can be read on laptops, mobiles, and tablets, in March. The replica edition comes equipped with several new features, including a text-to-speech option with audio-recorded sections of the paper.
According to paidContent, the newspaper launched BostonGlobe.com in October but has since reported only about 18,000 subscribers, which may be due to content crossover with its affiliated website, Boston.com. Boston.com features a mixture of Boston Globe content and more web-friendly articles.
According to the website, the launch of BostonGlobe.com was not meant to detract from the original website’s content: “Boston.com will still offer its readers wide-ranging news and information and serve as a comprehensive and lively guide to living in Greater Boston,” the website said. “It will carry the latest in breaking news, and coverage of local news (including the popular Your Town sites), arts & entertainment, business, health & wellness, politics, travel, and more.”
In the past, users could access Globe content on Boston.com through the “Today’s Globe” tab, but now the tab redirects the user to BostonGlobe.com. Users can only access the ePaper version, as well as exclusive content such as Globe columns, from BostonGlobe.com or by viewing the digital version on an app.
In order to increase the number of subscribers to BostonGlobe.com, it seems necessary not only that Boston.com drive traffic to the newer site but also that users begin to recognize the two as different brands. With the plethora of original content on Boston.com, as well as the inclusion of certain articles from the newspaper on the site, it may be difficult to persuade consumers that it is worthwhile to pay for a subscription to a seemingly redundant product (especially when the original website is still free). With the increased access to BostonGlobe.com from the free trial, though, perhaps the website will garner the attention it needs to establish itself as a competitive digital news site.