The Globe and Mail has gone live with its paywall and its new subscription service, Globe Unlimited. As J-Source reported last week, The Globe has taken a metered approach to its paywall, setting the limit for free articles at 10 per month. Readers who wish to access more than that will need a Globe Unlimited account.

The Globe and Mail has gone live with its paywall and its new subscription service, Globe Unlimited.

As J-Source reported last week, The Globe has taken a metered approach to its paywall, setting the limit for free articles at 10 per month. Readers who wish to access more than that will need a Globe Unlimited account.

The Unlimited accounts are free for five- or six-day subscribers to The Globe’s print edition, or those who subscribe to The Globe’s existing Globe Investor Gold program. Weekend-only print subscribers will have to pay an additional $4.99 per month, and those who are without any sort of subscription to The Globe will have to shell out $19.99 per month for a Globe Unlimited account after a 99-cent one-month trial.

At a panel discussion hosted by The Canadian Journalism Foundation Thursday evening, editor-in-chief John Stackhouse used the time allotted to him to talk about The Globe’s new paywall. Stackhouse noted a number of factors that went into the decision to implement the subscription-based model now including consumers’ increased willingness to pay for things they get online, the industry trend and technology.

The paywall was originally conceived to be applied only to The Globe’s Report on Business content. But after research, the development of an iPad app that they discovered people weren’t willing to pay for, and a hard look at an “unpredictable advertising market,” the decision was made to apply the paywall to the entirety of The Globe’s original content, Stackhouse said.  (Exceptions to the 10-article limit include the home page and section pages, video, letters to the editor, horoscopes, stock quote pages and any articles accessed via social media or search.)

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Stackhouse made no hesitation in declaring technology the most difficult aspect of the subscription model to sort out. “IT and customer service are far more challenging than the journalism,” he said. “I think I’ve got the easiest job of all of the Globe executive in bringing this project to market.” 

Stackhouse has addressed a number of questions posed to the newspaper by readers since the paywall was announced last week. 

The newspaper debuted its new online model to its print audience today with a splashy front page that played on branding the subscription’s “Un-" prefix.

(Image credit: the Newseum Front Page Gallery)