Boston Globe raises prices on 7-day delivery, but protects Sunday circulation

Mass Market | Boston Herald
The Boston Globe raised prices on seven-day subscriptions but left Sunday-only subscriptions alone. The latter, Jon Chesto reports, also include unlimited access to the Globe’s digital edition and costs only slightly more ($5/week after promo period) than a digital-only sub ($3.50/week after promo).

The strategy of letting Sunday-only subscribers past the paywall for free seemed to pay off. As of the end of September, the Globe’s Sunday circulation had risen slightly, while most major newspapers’ Sunday papers continued to drop. While the Globe extended free access into October, readers were initially told that the free ride would run out in September, which probably prompted a number of them to pay up beforehand.


On Thursday, the New York Times Company, which owns the Globe, reported that circulation revenue was up 12.8 percent at the New York Times Media Group and down 4 percent at the company’s New England Media Group, which includes the Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Poynter’s Rick Edmonds reports that in a conference call yesterday, Times executives said The New York Times will report a 2 percent increase in Sunday circulation. The Times has a similar deal for Sunday subscribers, making it cheaper to get a Sunday paper than not.

“For publishers — almost all of whom applaud the Times ploy — it’s a way to bolster their highest-profit day of the week, a day that brings in a third or more of their ad revenue and is home to that precious keep-it-to-the-bitter-end preprint business,” Ken Doctor wrote last year.

Media analyst Ed Atorino gives Jerry Kronenberg at the rival Boston Herald a theory for why the Times Company hasn’t sold what it calls “the Boring Broadsheet”: “My feeling is [Times Co. CEO Arthur] Sulzberger likes the Globe,” Atorino says. || Related: New York Times 1st quarter earnings beat expectations | The newsonomics of NYT’s Sunday gain and paid content 2.0 (Ken Doctor/Nieman Lab)

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