Boston Globe launches subscription-only website

The Boston Globe on Monday became the latest major US newspaper to begin charging readers online.

The Boston Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co., which began charging for full access to the website of its flagship newspaper in March, launched a subscription-only website at BostonGlobe.com.

With print advertising revenue sliding and circulation dropping, newspaper publishers have been looking for ways to earn more money from readers on the Web.

The Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., also charges online readers for full access to WSJ.com.

The Boston Globe said a digital-only subscription to BostonGlobe.com will cost $3.99 a week. Home delivery subscribers will receive free access.

The Boston Globe already has a website, Boston.com, which will remain free and currently receives around 6.2 million unique visitors a month.

Boston.com will offer a limited selection of stories from the newspaper along with breaking news, blogs, photo galleries and sports coverage, the newspaper said.

BostonGlobe.com will feature the entire edition of the newspaper as well as breaking news and sports updates and additional video and photography.

"BostonGlobe.com is designed to appeal to users who prefer a deeper reading experience and the full scope of the Globe's journalism, including exclusive reports, in-depth analyses, and a range of commentary," the newspaper said.

"BostonGlobe.com is essentially purely journalistic, and Boston.com is more of a town square where you get news and information, but you can also buy tickets to events and exchange information and opinions with your neighbors," Boston Globe editor Martin Baron told the newspaper.

Baron said he believed readers were prepared to pay for BostonGlobe.com.

"Our research shows that people who go to Boston.com to read the Globe understand that journalism costs money," he said. "They understand that what we do has value, and that it needs to be paid for."

The Times Co., whose holdings include the International Herald Tribune in addition to The Boston Globe and The New York Times and, sought a buyer for the Globe in 2009 but failed to receive bids attractive enough to merit a sale.

The Times Co. bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993 but the value of the newspaper has plummeted since then, along with the fortunes of the US newspaper industry.

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