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March 2, 2018 3:36 pm  #1


More Toronto Star Changes

I  ten answer opinion surveys for Angus Reid, and the most recent one asked how I felt about some proposed changes to the digital edition of the paper. The "free" version will be limited to a maximum of two articles per month. The "Basic" access would be a digital version of the print edition with a number of extra crossword/suduko puzzles. The "Premium" access would include the Basic plus 'content' from the N.Y. Times and Wall Street Journal, more advanced puzzles and recipes from "Around The World" How much content from the Times and WSJ? I don't know. The survey gave me 24 different pricing combinations in groups of 3. Depending on how many users there are, proposed pricing would be Basic $10-25/month. Premium $5-25/month. Personally, I am not a fan of digital print. I like to physically hold a newspaper in my hands while reading it. I guess that makes me old! Hey I am old. My first OAS payment arrives in April.

 

March 2, 2018 4:00 pm  #2


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

I too like to hold a newspaper in my hands, but those days may soon be coming to an end...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5385169/New-York-Times-stop-printing-10-years-says-CEO.html


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

March 2, 2018 4:23 pm  #3


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Dale Patterson wrote:

I too like to hold a newspaper in my hands, but those days may soon be coming to an end...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5385169/New-York-Times-stop-printing-10-years-says-CEO.html

I agree with you for two reasons.  A rapidly shrinking advertising base can no longer support high printing and distribution costs.  Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 40 reading a print newspaper.  Most people in that age bracket are glued to their smart phones and are used to receiving their news digitally.

One of the biggest mistakes many newspapers made years ago was charging as much for the digital edition as the print edition.  Savvy customers realized that reduced distribution and printing costs should result in a lower subscription price.  When the lower costs were not passed on, they migrated to other news sources and newspapers missed a golden opportunity to offset some of their losses in ad revenue.
 

 

March 2, 2018 4:42 pm  #4


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Chuck99 wrote:

I agree with you for two reasons.  A rapidly shrinking advertising base can no longer support high printing and distribution costs.  Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 40 reading a print newspaper.  Most people in that age bracket are glued to their smart phones and are used to receiving their news digitally. 

1) Go to a Library.
It's a place where I'd expect to see the younger crowd reading tablets etc, but believe it or not, some just go there to read newspapers.  (Ah, but the local newspapers don't make any money off of that...unless ad revenue is good)

2) Ride public transit. 
For the time being, the Toronto subway system does not allow for surfing the net for news to read unless you are with freedom mobile. That may change.
Therefore, as a result, people are mostly reading the free Metro newspaper, but some are still reading the actual Toronto star...Ah, but again, I have no way to confirm if the reader paid for that newspaper of if someone else left it there...and maybe that someone else stole it from the local McDonalds...who knows??

Long story short, I can confirm (for now) that Toronto's news papers should do okay as long as ad revenue is good.

 

Last edited by Radiowiz (March 2, 2018 5:49 pm)

 

March 2, 2018 5:08 pm  #5


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Chuck99 wrote:

One thing for sure, I will NEVER EVER pay $4 for a Saturday star paper. 
I'll gladly pay $2 at the box for the Saturday Star, but not $4 ever...the price is way too high. 
 

I think that price is high because of Starweek. Seems like in the span of one year, TV Guide, Broadcast Week [Globe and Mail], Sun TV and TV Times [I think in The Post] all shut down.  
If you want print TV listings, the Saturday Star is your only choice.

 

March 2, 2018 5:14 pm  #6


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

This "paywall" system the papers are playing with will NOT work unless ALL the papers, radio and television sites do it. Otherwise, news is news: If the Red Czar blocks me from reading their socialist manifesto, I'll go elsewhere. Wasting natural resources because the frail and elderly cannot pivot to modern times is absolutely absurd.

 

March 2, 2018 5:32 pm  #7


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

The Toronto Star is a Champagne-socialist, feminist, liberal rag.  A few years ago, I would have bet that of the 4 Toronto dailies, the Toronto Star would be the last one to die.  Today, I think it may be the first.

 

March 2, 2018 5:40 pm  #8


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Interestingly, the Buffalo News had a paywall up for the past few weeks. And then, as suddenly as it appeared, it went away. Can't say why, but perhaps they didn't get the response they wanted and page views went down. Just a guess, but it's possible. (Looks like they just added something forcing you to whitelist them on an ad blocker, so maybe they hope to make up the difference that way.)

As far as the Saturday Star is concerned, I must be one of the few who actually buys this every week - but only the Saturday edition, their best seller of all the seven days they publish. The reason I fork out money for it? It's the Starweek and only the Starweek. I'm old fashioned in that I like a paper listing of what's on TV. And as noted, there aren't a lot of choices. (I find browsing a website or looking at the listings via DVR too restrictive and you can't see all the channels without a lot of scrolling, which gets annoying and time consuming.)

Not only that, but the entire thing doesn't make a lot of sense. Although there's a chart at the front of the magazine that converts them, it lists stations by their old VHF virtual channel numbers. That's great for over-the-air viewers like me, but I'll wager the vast majority of people are on cable or satellite and would never use those positions to tune in anything. In that sense, it's incredibly out of date.   

Having said that, the Star tried a paywall a few years ago and it didn't last long. As a weekend subscriber, I was entitled to look at the paper online all week, and I can tell you that the thing never worked properly. I was constantly emailing their tech support, trying to figure out why I was being shut out. They'd fix it and the next day, it would happen again. 

The Star hasn't had a good track record with digital - the Star Touch experiment lost a fortune and was incompetently rolled out - so I can't see that this will work out much better. And like many here, if the Star cut off access, I would simply go elsewhere for my news. As sad as it is, it's a truism of both the Internet and human nature: Fee can never compete with Free. 

 

March 2, 2018 5:48 pm  #9


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

RadioActive wrote:

Not only that, but the entire thing doesn't make a lot of sense. Although there's a chart at the front of the magazine that converts them, it lists stations by their old VHF virtual channel numbers. That's great for over-the-air viewers like me, but I'll wager the vast majority of people are on cable or satellite and would never use those positions to tune in anything. In that sense, it's incredibly out of date.

Yes. They should list all OTA stations by name not by their legacy channel numbers.  CTV, CTV2, Global, NBC[b], CBS[b] and so on. They did it with OMNI and TVO. Complete the process. They have a lot of readers outside of Toronto. Those OTA numbers hold no value for them.

Last edited by andysradio (March 2, 2018 5:53 pm)

 

March 2, 2018 5:55 pm  #10


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

RadioActive wrote:

Fee can never compete with Free. 

I could never understand why people actually pay for porn online. There's an endless universe of adult theatre available at no charge.  Not only that, it accommodates any and all fetishes. That includes a site dedicated to a morbidly obese former top-40 jock, in his 70's, naked, at the mic, performing a veritable tableaux of almost-physically impossible "adult" acts with a variety of well-lubed vintage radio equipment. 
 

 

March 2, 2018 6:46 pm  #11


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Chuck99 wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

I too like to hold a newspaper in my hands, but those days may soon be coming to an end...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5385169/New-York-Times-stop-printing-10-years-says-CEO.html

I agree with you for two reasons.  A rapidly shrinking advertising base can no longer support high printing and distribution costs.  Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 40 reading a print newspaper.  Most people in that age bracket are glued to their smart phones and are used to receiving their news digitally.

One of the biggest mistakes many newspapers made years ago was charging as much for the digital edition as the print edition.  Savvy customers realized that reduced distribution and printing costs should result in a lower subscription price.  When the lower costs were not passed on, they migrated to other news sources and newspapers missed a golden opportunity to offset some of their losses in ad revenue.
 

Additionally, it's easy to get around paywalls, though some are more of a challenge than others.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

March 2, 2018 7:33 pm  #12


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Dale Patterson wrote:

Additionally, it's easy to get around paywalls, though some are more of a challenge than others.

Incognito mode with Google chrome seems to do the trick, but it also seems to automatically remove your ad blocker.
That, or if your ad blocker still works, the site you select for news and information will keep begging you to please remove your ad blocker, and it won't let you see anything until you do.
 

 

March 2, 2018 8:17 pm  #13


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Radiowiz wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

I agree with you for two reasons.  A rapidly shrinking advertising base can no longer support high printing and distribution costs.  Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 40 reading a print newspaper.  Most people in that age bracket are glued to their smart phones and are used to receiving their news digitally. 

1) Go to a Library.
It's a place where I'd expect to see the younger crowd reading tablets etc, but believe it or not, some just go there to read newspapers.  (Ah, but the local newspapers don't make any money off of that...unless ad revenue is good)

2) Ride public transit. 
For the time being, the Toronto subway system does not allow for surfing the net for news to read unless you are with freedom mobile. That may change.
Therefore, as a result, people are mostly reading the free Metro newspaper, but some are still reading the actual Toronto star...Ah, but again, I have no way to confirm if the reader paid for that newspaper of if someone else left it there...and maybe that someone else stole it from the local McDonalds...who knows??

Long story short, I can confirm (for now) that Toronto's news papers should do okay as long as ad revenue is good.

 

Your observations do not pertain to other areas of the province.  The free Metro newspaper is not distributed in smaller communities outside Toronto  And I go to my local library branch on numerous occasions and almost never see anyone under 40 reading a newspaper.  They are generally using the wi-fi or have booked one of the computer stations.
 

 

March 2, 2018 8:32 pm  #14


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Radiowiz wrote:

Incognito mode with Google chrome seems to do the trick, but it also seems to automatically remove your ad blocker

Go to: <More Tools> <Extensions> <AdBlocker Plus>
and check the <Allow in incognito>

Problem solved.

Also, go to https://easylist.to/ and add the Adblock Warning Removal List to the filters
 

Last edited by cGrant (March 2, 2018 8:35 pm)

 

March 2, 2018 8:46 pm  #15


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Dale Patterson wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

I too like to hold a newspaper in my hands, but those days may soon be coming to an end...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5385169/New-York-Times-stop-printing-10-years-says-CEO.html

I agree with you for two reasons.  A rapidly shrinking advertising base can no longer support high printing and distribution costs.  Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone under the age of 40 reading a print newspaper.  Most people in that age bracket are glued to their smart phones and are used to receiving their news digitally.

One of the biggest mistakes many newspapers made years ago was charging as much for the digital edition as the print edition.  Savvy customers realized that reduced distribution and printing costs should result in a lower subscription price.  When the lower costs were not passed on, they migrated to other news sources and newspapers missed a golden opportunity to offset some of their losses in ad revenue.
 

Additionally, it's easy to get around paywalls, though some are more of a challenge than others.

Another mistake newspapers made was giving most of their product away for free during the infancy of the internet 15 to 20 years ago.  They were already charging for the print edition, so charging a reasonable fee, perhaps 5 to 7 dollars a month, for a digital subscription would not have seemed unreasonable at the time.  But after they gave the product away for free, people resented any attempts to create a paywall and either circumvented them or migrated to other news sources.  Some newspapers compounded the problem by trying to charge the same subscription price for the digital edition.

 

March 3, 2018 9:15 pm  #16


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

This appeared on page A2 of the Saturday Star as a "Note to Readers" (and for obvious reasons, likely would not have been seen online) about a "new look" coming to the paper effective Sunday. 

"We are reducing the width of the daily paper by one inch, or about 5 per cent, but the depth of each page will remain the same...The new look also means we have been able to develop a design that will make it easier to read stories without having to increase the size of the type that we currently use."

It goes on to state that they've done extensive research and that other papers have done the same thing.

Well, there you go. That should fix all their financial problems. Less newsprint was the answer all along. Who knew?

 

March 4, 2018 12:24 am  #17


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

cGrant wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

Incognito mode with Google chrome seems to do the trick, but it also seems to automatically remove your ad blocker

Go to: <More Tools> <Extensions> <AdBlocker Plus>
and check the <Allow in incognito>

Problem solved.

It looks like you may be utilizing ad blocker software or other ad filtering technology while visiting our site. Certain areas of the site may not work because of this, particularly video playback which requires ads to be enabled. We work hard to strike a balance between content and ads and as a free, non-subscription news source we and our advertisers greatly appreciate your support in permitting ads to render.

 

March 6, 2018 6:50 pm  #18


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

@ RadioActive

I too noticed the same previous pay wall activities that you have described.  Toda.y it appears that they have been reinstated.

 

March 6, 2018 7:11 pm  #19


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Been using the incognito mode for years with good results.   I don't mind the ads, but I don't want to pay for them.  Why don't they just put up a PDF of the whole paper, ads and all, for me to download?  The newspaper actually starts as a PDF file which gets sent to the printer so it wouldn't be a big deal to just reduce the resolution and make a downloadable version for consumer use.

I know it's going to sound like a bad joke, but quite honestly, I haven't had the physical Toronto Star paper in the house since our last budgie died.  We had a lovely flock in a large flight cage and the unfolded pages of the star fit perfectly at the bottom of the cage.   Just had to be careful what was on the page.  Didn't want to scare the little things with a picture of some predator or even David Miller staring at them from the bottom of the cage.

But further to that, I never actually had to pay for it.  They were constantly giving it away, usually for 6 week periods.  The reason they did this was because PMB, the outfit that calculates circulation numbers (kind of like ratings) for newspapers, counts total circulation, not just paid circulation.  So they can use that to plump up their numbers. 
 

 

March 11, 2018 3:30 pm  #20


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

I live in the Avenue Rd/401 area and in the last several months I have noticed the disappearance of newspaper boxes. Two Sun boxes [outside Bruno's Fine Foods and a local Firkin pub] and one Star box [at the entrance to my apartment parking area]. Perhaps they were moved to higher traffic areas or maybe it was not cost effective to maintain them. All three boxes sold out every day. I get home delivery of the Sun, so it doesn't affect me personally.

     Thread Starter
 

March 11, 2018 10:26 pm  #21


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

mace wrote:

I live in the Avenue Rd/401 area and in the last several months I have noticed the disappearance of newspaper boxes. Two Sun boxes [outside Bruno's Fine Foods and a local Firkin pub] and one Star box [at the entrance to my apartment parking area]. Perhaps they were moved to higher traffic areas or maybe it was not cost effective to maintain them. All three boxes sold out every day. I get home delivery of the Sun, so it doesn't affect me personally.

There's this from a few years ago: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-newspaper-box-makes-its-last-stand-in-the-age-of-digital-media/article27988913/

 
 

 

March 12, 2018 7:41 am  #22


Re: More Toronto Star Changes

Thanks RA. Very interesting and informative article. You probably remember the old honour/non lock boxes that were predominant in the 50's and 60's. I can remember one of those Star honour boxes situated on the McMaster campus as late as 1976. Just one other fun observation. I have wondered why the Sun has liberal red boxes, the Star has conservative blue boxes and the Globe had. at one time. NDP orange boxes.

     Thread Starter