September 4, 2007

More free papers? The Standard joins the crowd.

Sing Tao News Corporation, the local media powerhouse, announced that from Monday 10th September 2007 it will no longer charge subscription fees for it's English language newspaper, The Standard.

Although industry observers expect this move to change the local media landscape, it's not the first time that Sing Tao has ventured down this path. It has succeeded before with Headline Daily (頭條網), which has become the largest-circulating free newspaper in Hong Kong at 700,000 copies.

The big question is whether advertisers will flock to the Standard given the stronghold of it's main rival, the South China Morning Post, which dominates the English newspaper market and is making a good run of it's online presence, the, with multimedia content (podcasts, videos, audio) and creative ad formats.

Or are they simply preparing themselves for a future new life as a purely digital paper?

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