Straits Times Premium Subscription Ads Hit A Paywall With Netizens

When national newspaper The Straits Times (ST) decided to bite the bullet and implement a paywall for ‘premium content’ by experienced journalists, netizens weren’t having it.

Now that Singaporeans have lived about 10 months with the impenetrable paywall, it seems like ST has been voraciously trying to convince us that it’s time to get a subscription.

Through loads of ongoing ads on Facebook and Instagram.

You may recognise this festive version, with just one constant — a $0.99/month promo that’s been ongoing for the past 3 months at least.

Deal or no deal

Unfortunately, netizens were savage AF about the promo.

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Some aptly pointed out that it wasn’t a new one, nor was it truly a “limited time” promotion. Netizens claim similar promos have been running since October this year.

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Others thought ST was “really desperate”. They felt that by not subscribing, cost savings would be even more substantial.

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Finally, this netizen felt that it was hard for ST to sustain readership with live updates on Facebook.

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There was also the matter of “censorship” in state media to consider, said another.

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Monetising intellectual property

To be fair, some commentators have pointed out that without monetising their online publication, it would be hard to sustain ST in the long-run.

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Given that the bulk of their parent company’s profit ironically didn’t come from their print or online journalism arms, they may just be on to something.

Although SPH seems to be doing a better job at running their retail and property assets for profit. Intellectual property, as it stands is something that ST is trying to protect.

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What else do you think ST can do to ensure their survival, besides investing in property turn a profit?

Do you think ST’s paywall is a success or a strategy that has unfortunately backfired?

Featured image from The Straits Times on Facebook.