Boston Globe Launches Downloadable GlobeReader

globe.jpgHere’s another way to put up a digital pay wall without having to deal with all the negative connotations associated with that name: The Boston Globe, which has offered a free online edition since this summer, is now making their digital copy available only for download to your computer. And, unless you already subscribe to The Globe, you’ll have to pay for it.

Ostensibly, this makes the paper more…well, paper-like, as if that was what was missing from our online content. “GlobeReader delivers the Globe’s award-winning journalism straight to your computer in a familiar newspaper-style layout,” boasts the front page of The New York Times Co.-owned Web site for the GlobeReader, which promotes access to seven days worth of news in its bundled package for $4.98, including comics and crosswords in PDF format (although however you’re supposed to work on a crossword in PDF is beyond us).

We have to admit, this is one of the sillier ways we’ve seen a company try to monetize its digital readers. Old PDFs can potentially gather dust and take up space on your hard drive just like a real newspaper, although they are impossible to copy onto blogs, so they are also a real newspaper in that respect. In addition, it looks like most of The Globe (minus the comics and crosswords, of course) is still available online, so why pay for the GlobeReader at all? Unless you really miss your daily Marmeduke fix, of course.

Full release after the jump

The Boston Globe Launches “GlobeReader” Digital Newspaper

New Product, Powered by Adobe AIR, Provides Offline/Online Convenience

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 13, 2009– The Boston Globe announced today the formal launch of GlobeReader, a digital version of The Boston Globe newspaper that can be read offline or online. GlobeReader replaces the preview edition that had been available since this summer to all Boston Globe subscribers at no charge.

Through GlobeReader the content of the Globe is downloaded daily to a user’s desktop, laptop or netbook, in a format designed to resemble the look and feel of the print version of The Boston Globe. Enhancements to the preview edition include the addition of comics, sports scores, weather and the daily crossword puzzle. Various product and design improvements have also been incorporated.

“Reader response to the preview edition of the GlobeReader has been very encouraging. Now we’re pleased to offer GlobeReader to the public at large,” said Chris Mayer, senior vice president, circulation and operations, The Boston Globe. “It is important for our business to offer Globe news and information on a variety of platforms that appeal to a variety of market segments.”

GlobeReader is available at a fee of $4.98 per week. A bundle including home delivery in the Boston metro area of the Sunday Globe plus 7-day access to the GlobeReader is offered at the same price. For the Globe’s seven-day newspaper subscribers, it is included at no additional cost.

Designed for people who enjoy reading the news, GlobeReader combines the familiarity of The Boston Globe newspaper format with the convenience of a digital product.

* Articles are set in the same type font as the paper, and the page design is understated and clean.
* The navigation is easy and clear.
* Scanning for stories or photos is fast.
* Readability features include adjustable type size and screen size.

The Globe’s new digital newspaper was built with Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR, key components of the Adobe Flash Platform, which runs on Windows, Macintosh and Linux. While online, GlobeReader users can search for expanded features such as slide shows, videos, interactive graphics and more.

“Using Adobe Flash Platform technologies, The Boston Globe and Adobe development teams were able to create an expressive digital reading experience with the layout and design of The Boston Globe newspaper, that can reach virtually anyone anywhere,” said Bryant Macy, director of product marketing, Platform Business Unit at Adobe.