THE BOSTON GLOBE is raising its digital subscription cost by 74 percent in a move that executives say is an attempt to raise revenue and to match price with value.

The digital rate, which has been $3.99 a week since the newspaper launched digital subscriptions in 2011, is rising to $6.93 on Monday. On a yearly basis, the rate is jumping from $207 to $360, or about 99 cents a day. A one-year promotional rate of $3.99 per week is being offered to new subscribers.

“In order to continue producing the quality journalism you know and love, we find it necessary to increase our subscription rates,” said Peter Doucette, vice president and chief customer officer, in an email to the newspaper’s digital subscribers. “Even with this increase, though, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to at a tremendous value – just 99 cents a day.”

The Globe has 65,000 digital subscribers and more than 230,000 250,000 print subscribers, who pay $14.35 a week, or $754 a year, for seven-day delivery. (Correction: Globe officials said the original 250,000 number they provided was just an approximation; they said the correct number is a bit over 230,000.)

David Rosen of Boston, who received his email from Doucette on Tuesday, said he has been a subscriber to the Globe for more than 30 years but canceled his digital subscription after receiving notification of the unexpected price increase.

“I wonder what the public reaction would be if the MBTA unexpectedly announced a 70 percent increase in T fares, or the city of Boston announced a 70 percent across-the-board increase in property taxes,” he said in an email. “Perhaps other Boston Globe subscribers will have the kind of reaction I did, and the Boston Globe will reconsider this decision.”

The Globe’s move comes at a time when owner John Henry is investing in the newspaper and trying to keep it profitable. If all digital subscribers were to continue on at the new, higher rate, the Globe will take in an extra $9.9 million a year.

In his email, Doucette said the newspaper plans to unveil a revamped sport section in the fall and is adding a team of digital-first reporters covering sports and local news.

Most newspapers are now charging for online content, but not all of them are. The Globe’s price increase will make its digital bill one of the highest in the nation.

“We didn’t try and value it based on what other publishers are doing,” Doucette said in an interview. “We tried to value it based on what our journalism is worth.”

The New York Times charges three different digital rates — $3.75 a week for web and smartphone access,  $5 a week for web and tablet access, and $8.75 a week for access on all digital formats.  Yearly rates range from $195 to $455. The Wall Street Journal charges $28.99 a month, or $348 a year. The Washington Post charges $2.50 a week or $99 a year for its national digital edition, and $3.75 a week or $149 a year for the national edition plus District of Columbia coverage.  The Chicago Tribune charges $129 a year for a digital subscription and the Los Angeles Times charges $2.99 a week, or $155 a year.

Locally, the Patriot Ledger charges $9.95 a month or $79.95 a year. The Eagle-Tribune charges $17.99 a month, or $216 a year. The Telegram & Gazette in Worcester charges $8 a month, or $96 a year, for digital access on all platforms. The Boston Herald and Masslive, the Springfield-based website affiliated with The Republican, charge nothing for their online content.

6 replies on “Globe hiking digital price 74%”

  1. Not surprised to see this. Since the Globe jacked up its print subscription rate, many subscribers must have moved to digital. The lesson should be – increase both print and digital rates at the same time, rather than stagger the increase.

  2. 70 percent is much too much. Globe: reconsider. You will lose too many subscribers. Try increasing by perhaps 10-20 percent per year rather than 70 percent all at once. I love the Globe and subscribe digitally but this increase is outrageous.

  3. After being loyal Globe print subscribers for decades, and then print and digital subscribers, we decided to switch to only digital as part of our effort to reduce our carbon footprint. We were a little surprised by the cost, and are stunned to hear that a digital subscription is about to go up to 99¢ a day. My digital subscription to the Guardian is only 65¢ a day, and has a good bit more on offer than what the Globe provides; my New York Times digital subscription is only $3.75 a week; and my Irish Times subscription is about 12€ a month. And a good many other reliable news outlets are still free. I am certainly willing to pay for my news providers, but I am not willing to be gouged by those providers when I make the decision to do something that’s better for the environment.

  4. I am a loyal subscriber who feels gouged. Globe didn’t even notify me about the price increase (starting yesterday) until today! NYT is starting to look like a much better value.

  5. I was just balancing my credit card statements and realized the price increase. I have never been notified of this increase. In addition the price increase would not be so harsh if the Globe could get its app to actually work. Every update has gotten worse. The last two have had “bug fixes” or new features, none of which you can see because the app crashes 4 or 5 times a page. Customer Services solution is to clear the cache, delete and reload the app, that never works. It just gets you off their back. Look at the App Store reviews. A bad value at the old price. Maybe Spotlight should investigate the ripping off of Globe customers

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