It is truly the end of an era.
The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, has pulled the plug on its Globe Insider service and unlocked all its columnist pieces for people to read for free. People will no longer be stuck with those “for Globe Insider subscribers only” messages.
Instead of Globe Insider, the paper plans three other ways to make money online:
- An “e-paper” version of the print edition, which I haven’t seen or tested but is probably as annoying to use as the other poor-man’s PDF viewers out there.
- Its Globe Investor Gold service which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with news.
- Access to its archives.
The third one is probably what’s going to annoy people most. The Globe is still restricting access to its archives, and expecting people to pay ridiculous prices like $5 an article or $16 a month to get access to them.
Not aware of this, initial reaction has been a mix of “thank you” and “it’s about time,” with the usual comments about Christie Blatchford thrown in (and one saying The Gazette is better than the Globe).
The decision leaves Le Devoir as the only major Canadian daily that maintains a subscriber wall. How long until it finally crumbles?