Boston Globe to shift towards a metered paywall, launches a new tech-news site BetaBoston.com

The Boston Globe has launched a new standalone news site for technology start-ups in the Boston community called BetaBoston.com. This is an offshoot of a sub domain, Beta.Boston.com which was originally launched in 2011. Launching of this tech news site as a separate domain instead of clubbing it with its newspaper brand, under the fear of losing out on the most relevant traffic to its parent site and taking away emphasis from the mothership, is indeed a bold move by the Boston daily, TalkingNewMedia.comreported.


Post its launch, BetaBoston will focus on companies and people who are the game changers of the industry, be it a three-person start-up or a multinational. “Boston’s wealth of consumer technology, life sciences and biosciences companies is reshaping the economy and culture, locally and globally,” said Brian McGrory, Boston Globe editor. “We will cover, in-depth, not only the technologies themselves, but the broader social impact of those technologies.”

The news site will cover the tech and biotech industries and will utilize work from the current Globe writers such as those from Innovation Economy columnist Scott Kirsner and Globe business reporter Callum Borchers. Furthermore, it has hired two new staffers to its team to update content on the tech news site, Kyle Alspach and Dennis Keohane as the senior writers.

According to a recent blog post on Politico.com, The Boston Globe has taken down its paywall and is now shifting towards a metered system, Editor Brian McGrory announced in a memo this week to its staffers. This move will put The Globe in line with other publications such as The New York Times that allows readers to access and read 10-articles in a 30-day period before requesting subscription to their services.

From 2011 until now, the Globe content was available on Boston.com but BostonGlobe.com was behind a paywall. However McGory now believes that the site can bring in more paid membership with a metered paywall in place. Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com are all set to become nearly completely separate entities and at some point of time they might compete with each other. There have been staff moves within the organisation, and among them is the departure of Ron Agrella as editor of Boston.com. Also, in the weeks to come all Globe-originated content – staff blogs, chats, videos will be moved to BostonGlobe.com. The content can then be accessible by a larger audience and widely read without the paywall barriers. The redesigned boston.com will launch on mobile later this month and on desktop in early April.

BetaBoston editor Michael Morisy stated in the press release, “BetaBoston is a standalone, branded site that embraces a specialized but very significant community in Boston. BetaBoston’s focus will be on companies and people that change the game in their industry, whether they’re three-person startups or multinationals.”

The site’s focus not only serves the substantial tech and science community in Boston and beyond, but also gives advertisers a unique platform for reaching an influential and targeted base of readers that is expected to include: Start-ups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, life science researchers, tech experts, college students, residents of Kendall Square and surrounding areas in Cambridge and the Boston Innovation District, and other professionals. Also events and job listings will be accessible for free at BetaBoston.com


By: Savita V Jayaram

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