The Boston Globe recently released a plan that would charge readers 99 cents a day to consume their digital news. Hearing this begs the question: how much are readers willing to pay for their news?
The Globe’s plan would charge new users 99 cents for their first month and have the price increase gradually from there. They hypothesize that after readers have stayed for a year, they are unlikely to leave. Under this logic, the price jumps to 99 cents a day in the 13th month of a subscription.
This is an interesting strategy for the Globe to take. With so much news on the internet that is free, it is a questionable move to test the limits by charging a relatively steep $30 a month. The success or failure of this will definitely set some precedent for other news organizations in upcoming year.
The reasoning for this decision is that the Boston Globe believes readers are not only loyal, but they are willing to pay more for local news. Boston however is a large market, meaning that Boston news consumers have several possible news sources to choose from. What is keeping consumers from choosing a cheaper source?
This experiment should play out within the next couple years. I personally wish the Globe luck, but I believe that their new model is unsustainable. Even in the relatively small market of Syracuse, I have been able to find other free news organizations to replace The Post Standard as my primary news source back home. I just hope that the Globe can recover from this if it proves to be a failure.