The Toronto Star redesigned their website and implemented a digital access program in 2013. The main premise was to allow people to read a few articles for free each month and if you want to read more, you have to pay. This has not been success for the newspaper and they have announced the suspension of their digital subscription program on April 1st 2015.
When April 1st rolls around all of the content on Toronto Star website and their digital apps for tablets and smartphones will be free. “The decision to cancel Digital Access means readers will receive full access to thestar.com, including all the news articles, columnists, investigative reports, sports, multimedia features and much more that combined make the Toronto Star, in print and online, the best and most comprehensive provider of news and information in Canada.”
The last billing for Digital Access occurred in the middle of February for March’s service. There will be no further charges for Digital Access. Some of the Toronto Star’s print subscribers who were also paying for Digital Access may see a lower charge in their subscription based on the terms of their subscription package.
It comes as no surprise that the Toronto Star digital paywall was a failure. The main reason is only people living around the greater Toronto area subscribed to the digital edition. Whereas the New York Times, who basically pioneered this subscription based system is commonly used by readers all over the United States.
The main plan going forward with the Toronto Star is their newly designed app for the iPad, which is intended to capture a younger audience who will spend more time with the product. The app is being built in partnership with French-language daily La Presse, which claims some success with its tablet edition, La Presse Plus.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.