Starweek no longer free in Toronto Star Saturday home delivery
Starweek, the Toronto Star's weekly TV listings guide, will no longer be included in the home delivery edition of the Saturday paper. Earlier this week I received a recorded telephone message to this effect, and in my paper this morning the Starweek insert was wrapped in a prominent "subscriber alert." Here's the deal.
If subscribers don't opt in by informing the Star, they'll stop getting the television listings insert two weeks from now. If they want to continue to receive Starweek, they'll be required to pay $0.50 + GST per guide, or about $26 per year on top of their existing subscription arrangements. They've strategically timed the deliver and subscription model changes with an upgrade to the magazine's contents and design. In recent years, changes to the magazine have been well received and not so well received (one reader put his new Starweek through a paper shredder and mailed the pile to the Star).
I have two immediate thoughts on paid opt-in of the TV listings. With a weekly circulation of over 600,000 this likely represents a new revenue model for the Star - how significant it would be depends on how many opt-ins they see.
Additionally, this is a wise move in terms of being marginally more eco-conscious; chances are that many subscribers have little to no interest in receiving a print version of Starweek weekly. Some of us don't watch enough TV to warrant having a weekly printed guide, and (much like other outdated print directories like the Yellow Pages), the shift to using online and onscreen guides has no doubt been adopted by a significant proportion of TV watchers.
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