ST Interactive is no longer going to be free, not even for three days. Time to get your free news somewhere else. And one less source for the Government to get its views heard.
The internet, with blogs and other sources of free news online, is giving Mainstream Media (MSM) like the New York Times a hard time. If an institution like the NYT is having trouble making the old business model work, what more our own papers?
Tim Oren looks at how "legacy media in general are threatened by audience loss to the Internet and citizens' media". Mark Devlin of Japan Today, who once said "blogs will die out soon", disagrees with Tim.
Joi Ito, on future of the New York Times, says:
Would people pay for the New York Times online? Some. I wouldn't. They have some great stuff and I read the paper version of the IHT and the NYT when I'm offline, like on an airplane, but there are so many free sources of information and ways to get to information online that the incremental value added by the New York Times on my news consumption habits wouldn't be worth the hassle and the price.
Email from ST:
Dear STi Reader,
You are getting this email from the ST Interactive team as you are among the more than 280,000 of our registered users.
We thank you for your interest in the website and would like to inform you about a major change coming to STI in March: After 10 years of giving ST news reports out for free online, STI will begin charging readers to access it.
A subscription will cost S$72 for six months (S$12 a month), or S$120 for a year (S$10 a month). A one-month subscription will cost S$15.
Why are we doing this?
We believe that we have a good and valuable product that users will want to pay for. It's also not a tenable business model to charge for the print edition of the newspaper and not for its online edition.
You will want to know whether you will get anything more, now that you have to pay.
The answer is yes.
You will notice that up till now, you get only three reports from Life! and Sunday Life through the week. If you subscribe, all the showbiz gossip and lifestyle features you see in the print edition of Life will be available online.
The weekly tech magazine Digital Life is available online now but a day after its print edition goes out with the newspaper. If you subscribe, Digital Life and the health magazine Mind Your Body -- now not online -- will become available from 6am on the same day they are distributed with the newspaper. The fashion magazine Urban will also go online, but later this year.
All news reports in the Money section will be available from 6am daily, instead of 6pm.
The last perk is that the archive will grow from the current three-days to seven-days. This means you can search back a week's worth of STI editions.
The above extras are what you will get if you take up a subscription, in addition to what STI currently offers -- ST print edition news, current day breaking news, webspecials and photo features.
To give you a taste of what you will get in the bumped-up STI, the website will be accessible free to registered readers like yourself for two weeks from March 1 till 14.
You have these two weeks to browse and sign up.
Since you are already a registered reader, you will NOT need to fill in your details again. We already have them. You will only need to indicate that you want to take up a subscription and provide your credit card details.
From March 15 onwards, the site will become a subscribers-only website. Your subscription will take effect in April.
STI also has group subscription rates for institutions and companies. The larger the number of users in the group, the deeper the subscription discount. Do call (65) 6388-3838 or email email@example.com for these rates.
We hope you will stay with us. STI aims to continue being your link to news on Singapore, the region and the world.
The team at ST Interactive
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E.