Honolulu Star-Advertiser… You Are NO Wall Street Journal

Just over a year after the Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser merged to become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, today they announced that they are going to be charging for its online content almost as if it were a printed newspaper being delivered to your door.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser will begin charging for premium online content Aug. 3, joining an industry trend that has accelerated since the beginning of the year.

Subscribers to the print edition will receive all-access passes to premium online content at no extra charge. That will allow access to all website content and includes a new e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition. Star-Advertiser content can be delivered to a subscriber’s computer, iPad, iPhone or smartphone…

My guess is those folks that do actually subscribe to the paper… have been reading it online for quite some time now anyways.  But for those who do subscribe to the paper… may do so because they don’t want to read their newspaper on a computer screen.

This next statement is hilarious:

…Readers who want to forgo the print edition or live outside of the newspaper’s delivery area will be offered special rates to digital-only premium content on a daily, monthly or annual basis...

There are so many ways to get around this… how would the Star-Advertiser determine if folks started signing up through proxy servers in Timbuktu?

“We understand that news outside of what our local reporters generate can be had elsewhere and for free, but there are literally thousands of such stories each day,” he said. “Our professional journalists work through these each day to produce a lively, informative and entertaining newspaper each and every day of the year…”

Well I will say that at least those of us who give news out for free… do so because we enjoy doing it… not to make a profit at times… or suck up to the corporate world or sponsors at times.  I guess its time for local bloggers to step it up even more now.

…Nonsubscribers still will have free digital access to several areas, including breaking news, Associated Press stories, the website’s front page and section fronts, event calendars, Ho­nolulu Pulse, TGIF, photo galleries, blogs, classifieds, travel, obituaries and traffic, Francis said….

Pfft! well this is all we really want anyways!

…”Frankly, the newspaper industry should have adopted this approach 10 years ago, but the thinking was always on page views and unique site visits,” he said. “We all thought that, like in the print model, the more circulation you had or, in this case, page views, the more desirable for advertisers. What played out though is that people utilize advertising on the Internet much differently and the ad dollars never really materialized in any significant way.”…

I’ve been telling this to folks for years!

…Brady has been skeptical about charging for online content because it can reduce page views and make content less discoverable. However, he pointed to the Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports and the Financial Times as examples of publications that have been successful at charging for online access…

All I can say is that the Star-Advertiser is NO where close to what the Wall Street Journal is.

You can read the entire article here: Star-Advetiser to Charge for Premium Online Content

This is almost as sad as the day that Oahu became a one paper island!

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