My family have been an avid and loyal reader of The Star paper – we subscribe the paper to be delivered to our home every day from the newspaper man. So today, when I saw the headlines in black borders, I wondered what had happened-
As it turns out, The Star paper is launching the e-paper- a readable version where readers can download online. And the front cover is a mock-up of how the paper would look on a Samsung tablet (very creative).
It can be downloaded on any Smartphone, tablet or personal computer- and it is filled with various features like:
- sharing via email, Facebook, Twitter and email,
- ability to enlarge the page
- readily available every day wherever you are by 7am (Malaysian time).
- audio reader reads the news while you multitask (wow, imagine you are preparing to do cooking or other housework while the audio reader reads out the news to you)
- access to other sections like the Northern or Sabah/Sarawak edition which previously was not accessible to Klang Valley subsribers
- you would need to login to download the e-paper and once downloaded, you can even read it without being connected to the internet.
- you can authorise up to 2 devices per account
The free trial is available from 1 April to 30 April 2012. Users can head on to www.thestar.com.my/subscribe . But it is not indicated the price once the free trial is up.
Readers who have been given a free trial is praising about the paper.
This is another good example about a business that is adapting well to moving times and trends. The company has found various ways to make good use of its content- including creating specific websites to republish its content of interest and to monetize it so that content can be used again and again instead of using to wrap vegetables or fish in the market. With online presence, it would not be just “yesterday’s news”.
The methods are summarised in the back flap of the paper today:
Also, the main Star online also monetizes the site with Google Adsense which is a good move- after all, if the paper makes its content available online, many people would link and some may just upfront copy and paste the content. With so many visitors using up the bandwidth, placing ads would help to defray some of the site maintenance cost, staffing and even bring additional revenue to the company.
With the e-paper, many homesick Malaysians would be able to subscribe to the e-paper and keep abreast with the local news, as if they are at home. Of course, you can also view the content for free via its online portal, but it would not be as user friendly as an e-paper.
Due to my busy work schedule- and trying to get work done, reading newspaper is a luxury I can’t afford during work. So it is not likely that I would subsribe to the e-paper because my family are having the hard copy. However, if the cost of the montly subscription is much lower than the actual cost of the paper (RM1.20 on weekends and RM1.50 on Sat/Sun for West Malaysia), many people would surely sign up for this- some people I know only buy the paper few days once as they are the only one reading it. With the e-paper, they would be able to have access and able to read it during the commute to work- who knows, this may even encourage more people to take up public transportation (I’ve read quite a number of books during my time with commuting via train to work).