Commentary

'The Boston Globe' Site Hits 100,000 Subscribers

A hefty digital subscription network can be the saving grace for a struggling publisher and that’s what The Boston Globe has hoped to grow over the past few years. 

According to The Boston Business Journal, Globe editor Brian McGrory’s prediction that the paper would hit 100,000 subscribers in the first six months of the year fell short by a bit. However, earlier this week, an arts editor at The Globe tweeted the paper had reached that milestone.

In 2017, the paper increased its digital-only subscribers by 26%, so closing in on 100,000 quickly seemed inevitable.

The Boston Business Journal cites several reasons for the lapse — digital subscriptions aren’t as easy to track as paper ones, for example — and the paper saw subscriptions taper off following 2017.

But, clearly, digital readership continues to grow.

In fact, McGrory has said The Globe could become sustainable via digital subscriptions should it reach 200,000. However, the likelihood of that happening at a regional title is slim.

This boost in digital comes as other regional titles continue to feel the sting from the paper tariffs instated early this year. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was perhaps the most surprising case of a print scale back.

But earlier this week, The Oxford Eagle, which serves Oxford, Lafayette County and the University of Mississippi, announced plans to move to a five-day a week print publication schedule. The paper will no longer print a Monday edition.

However, the tariffs weren’t the only reason The Oxford Eagle decided to scale back print. The paper’s site is read by more than 7,000 people a day, significant for a smaller regional title.

According to The Oxford Eagle, Monday was the least profitable print edition for the paper, so the publication decided to reallocate those resources to invest in its digital output.

Katie Krouse, The Eagle’s general manager, stated in an article on the paper’s site: “The change will allow our staff to focus more precisely on producing a quality community-driven print newspaper on the days readers and advertisers have proven matter to them most.”

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