The Globe and Mail will begin charging for online content this fall.

See more: The Globe and Mail asks employees to take unpaid leave

The Globe and Mail will begin charging for online content this fall.

It had previously been announced that the Report on Business section would be moving behind an online paywall in the fall, but according to The Globe’s story on the subscription announcement, publisher Philip Crawley told staff yesterday afternoon that they had sped up plans to meter all online content due to an “unpredictable advertising market.”

Details surrounding the meter, the cost or the availability of online content to those subscribing to print editions of The Globe were not available and it seems The Globe is going to keep a hold on that information until closer to the roll-out of the paywall.

Editor-in-chief John Stackhouse wrote a letter about the new paywall, in which he outlines a number of questions he thinks The Globe’s readers might have. He doesn't really answer many of them, opting to say instead that a number of things “will be clarified later” and that “details will be announced later.”


The one thing that Stackhouse did allude to was the fact The Globe’s approach to its paywall will imitate that of The New York Times, at least in one sense. That being articles will still be available to those who access them via social media (i.e. links from Twitter/Facebook) or search engines. Meaning, those boasting above-average knowledge of all-things-Internet will have no problem circumventing this wall if they don’t want to pay. (The Times’ paywall has been described as “intentionally weak” and no shortage of ways to get around it have been described.)

But it isn’t as if The Globe’s move behind a paywall is a first for Canadian newspapers.

The Globe’s plans comes on the heels of Postmedia’s announcement last month that it will implement pay systems on the websites of three more daily newspapers: The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province. Postmedia first started experimenting with a pay model in May 2011 when it implemented a metered system on the websites of the Montreal Gazette and the Victoria Times-Colonist (it has since sold the latter). Postmedia also reported a second-quarter loss last month—a report that included some not-so-encouraging statistics on digital revenue—and this week it announced that it would be shutting down its wire service, laying off 25 employees and signing a new agreement with The Canadian Press.

Torstar has also tested the waters of the pay system, having implemented a metered approach on The Hamilton Spectator’s website last fall.

All of these moves to paywall systems come at a time where digital revenue has not increased to the point that newspapers need it to in order to make up for lost print revenue.