Is HBR Subscription Worth It?

Data is controlling us!

The statement sounds enticing, but it can become a nightmare if the data you’re exposed to is WRONG DATA.

Even though data, stats, information, and analysis are the new dynamics of markets, businesses, institutions, and even daily life chores, data can be misleading.

What type of data is misleading?

Data that does not deliver the value that it promises is misleading data. It can cost you a life if you do not choose your resources and information sources rightfully. The importance of the right resources is even amplified when you’re looking at technological innovations, market trends, and upcoming opportunities.

The Economist, The Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review(HBR) might seem like alternatives. However, the truth is that each of these information sources has a set of core values and promise to deliver a certain value to its readers. Therefore, you cannot measure the value of all business publications on one scale.

You must identify your requirements of information and then choose one that seems to fit it. Harvard Business Review is a popular and reputable publication. This article will cover all the ins and outs of HBR and help you decide if the subscription is worth it for a reader like you!

So let’s get into it.

What Is Harvard Business Review?

Harvard Business Review, popularly known as HBR, is a business journal that covers a wide array of subjects within the domain of business, innovation, marketing, and technology. The most prominent subjects covered in HBR are diversified to various parameters: industries, management functions, geographic distributions, and a lot more.

A lot of people confuse HBR with a peer-review journal that is not true. It is a useful resource for smart thinkers around the globe by providing them with righteous information, practical insights, and best practices to open pinnacles of success. The magazine is published 6 times a year, and its headquarters sit in Brighton, Massachusetts.

A Little About Its History

Harvard Business Review, a USA-based journal, was started in 1922 as Harvard Business School. The vision behind the initiative was to create a publication that helps the students and businessmen find practical solutions in different functions of a business. After World War II, the journal lived its vision by emphasizing successful strategies deployed by giant corporations like General Motors.

Between the 1980s to the first decade of the 21st century, the magazine was made more accessible to general audiences. The magazine scope was expanded to cover more generic topics. In 1994, HBS was transformed into Harvard Business Publishing(HBP) and was declared an independent non-profit entity. A lot of rearrangements and organizational redesigning were undergone at HBP to create the present three market-facing groups. The three groups are as follows: Higher Education, Corporate Learning, and Harvard Business Review Group.

2009 marked an important year in the history of HBR as a major redesign was implemented in the company. The goals and focus of HBR were realigned by the new editor-in-chief, Adi Ignatius. The print and digital divisions are integrated closely as a result of the redesign.

The practice of giving a specific theme to each edition of HBR also resulted from the realignment in 2009. Since then, the publication has been outperforming in its specified niches, winning thousands of trust by the strong data-backed information.

Audience Of HBR

When you’re choosing a publication on which you will be spending a lot of your time, it is important to ask if it resonates with your personality and interest.

Therefore, it is important to locate who are the readers of Harvard Business Review.

Like most business-oriented publications, journals, and magazines, the HBR also identifies itself as a journal of decision-makers and action takers. The audience of HBR is strategic managers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, successful businessmen, and emerging global leaders. The easy-to-comprehend approach at the core of the content you get by HBR is what makes it a favorite of professionals.

Students, professionals, and leaders all read HBR to understand and develop a practical surface for solving different management problems and challenges. If you’re someone who wants an information source, reliable and trustworthy, HBR is for you.

What Are Subscription Plans Of HBR?

By now, you’re pretty much into what HBR has to offer and if you should subscribe to it or not. Therefore, it is time to look into the costs you will have to bear for owning such a valuable resource. The subscriptions plans of varies according to your requirements, interests, and reading habits.

At the core, there are three plans: Digital, Digital & Print, Premium. You can choose either of these.  There are few changes in all three in terms of pricing and unlocked features.


The digital subscription will cost you $12. However, you can enjoy savings of 32% by choosing the annual billing. It will cost you $99 for a year instead of $144. The digital subscriptions offer you unlimited access to all the digital resources of HBR(articles).

Digital and Print

The monthly cost of a Digital and Print subscription is the same at $12. However, the savings on annual billing are offered up to 17% to bear a cost of $120 per year. In this subscription plan, you get digital access plus print editions of HBR magazine publications.


The high-end subscription plan of HBR costs $18 per month,

 and you can go for annual billing to pay an annual cost of $180. The premium subscription offers you digital resources, print editions, and a lot of extra premium resources exclusively created for premium members.

What To Expect From HBR?

When you have subscribed for HBR, what is different, you can expect from what a regular reader gets. Although, HBR has a free plan that offers you three readings per month for free. However, there is extra that you can get as a premium member of HBR. The premium resources include:

  • Business Case Studies
  • Articles
  • Podcasts
  • Data Visuals is all about innovative ideas and advice on innovation, business, leadership, management from the vetted experts.
  • Big idea covers the digital series of most intriguing and trending topics in different business spaces.
  • Reading Lists comprises leadership and business topics articles that cover critical issues and challenges.

How Can I Get a Free HBR Subscription?

The cost of $12 might be high for your intuitive and curious mind, and you might want a cost-free solution that gives you access to HBR for free. Well, the good news is that there are a few ways that can take you to HBR resources for free.

You can sign up on the HBR website to get a free subscription allowing you 15 reads in a month. Besides, you can also get free access to HBR as a currently enrolled MBA student.

Pros of HBR Subscription

The most important positive highlights of HBR are as follow:

You will get access to an enriched resource to polish and develop your managerial and leadership skills

There is a plethora of information, articles, podcasts, and exclusive material.

Annual billing is a great solution to the cost problem of the subscription.

Unlimited access to digital and print resources of the journal

Regular updates via email, newsletter, podcasts, etc.

All niches and spaces within business and technology are covered via customer-centric content(documentaries and podcasts directly coming from professionals and experts).

You have the freedom to unsubscribe at any time.

Cons of HBR Subscription

However, there are some downsides of HBR subscriptions too.

If you want a little bit of everything, subscribing to HBR will put a lot of burden on you. For instance, if you want to subscribe to three journals for a monthly subscription. $12 is too much for that.

A lot of premium members are not satisfied with the depth and comprehensiveness of case studies in subscription plans.

Some articles might look way too generic to comprehend the idea or topic.

Final Verdict: Is HBR Subscription Worth It?

Finally, the big question:

Is HBR Subscription worth it?

Yes, it is! But it depends.

Who are you? What are your reading needs? How often do you consult digital resources? Do you want to subscribe to other journals too?

All the questions shape the worth of subscribing to HBR. There is no doubt that HBR is a comprehensive and all-in-one resource covering a lot about business. You will never lag behind when it is about the latest business trends, leadership avenues, management solutions, marketing dynamics, etc.

What makes HBR more worthy is advice coming straight from the leaders and success figures who lead by example. Therefore, no question about the worth of subscribing to HBR.

In a nutshell, if you’re a frequent reader and want one resource, go for HBR. If you are someone who is consulting different journals, a monthly subscription can be expensive for you. However, if you’re a business that wants HBR for its employees and teams, the subscription is certainly worth it.