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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 24 February 2005

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Straits Times Interactive (STI) to charge for access

Source: straitstimes.asiaone.com.sg 

The Straits Times Interactive Web site will become a subscribers-only Web site from 15 Mar 2005. Straits Times Interactive, managed by SPH Internet Business*, is the online edition of The Straits Times newspaper.
In an email to its 280,000 registered users yesterday, Straits Times Interactive announced that "after 10 years of giving ST news reports out for free online, STI will begin charging readers to access it", saying, "It's also not a tenable business model to charge for the print edition of the newspaper and not for its online edition."
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. STI also has group subscription rates for institutions and companies. The larger the number of users in the group, the deeper the subscription discount. Call (65) 6388-3838 or email stics@sph.com.sg for these rates.
With paid access, users get expanded use of the Web site, including the following:
- ability to search back a week's worth of STI editions, up from the current three days
- all the showbiz gossip and lifestyle features you see in the print edition of Life, up from the  present three reports from Life! and Sunday Life through the week
- all news reports in the Money section will be available from 6am daily, instead of 6pm
- Digital Life -- currently available a day after its print edition goes out with the newspaper -- and 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
About SPH Internet Business
*Formerly known as AsiaOne, SPH Internet Business is the interactive media arm of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. SPH Internet Business manages four flagship products: AsiaOne.com, Straits Times Interactive, Business Times Online and Zaobao.com. Collectively, its news, lifestyle and services portals command up to 300 million page views per month, supported by a four million-strong unique audience.

Sources: Straits Times Interactive Email 23 Feb 2005, www.sph.com.sg

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