The price of a copy of The Straits Times will go up from March 1, in its first price increase in eight years.
But the newspaper is also offering a special discount to thosewho subscribe to the popular "All-In-One" (AIO) subscription package, which gives access to content across print and digital platforms. AIO subscribers will be charged the same rate as the new print-only package - $29.90 a month.
From March 1, The Straits Times will be sold at news-stands for $1.10 a copy on weekdays and $1.20 on Saturdays. The Sunday Times will also be $1.10. This is an increase of 20 cents from current news-stand prices.
Subscribers to the print edition will be charged $29.90 a month, up from the current $24.65. As is the case now, this price excludes delivery charges of $3 to $5 a month, depending on housing type.
An AIO subscription package, which includes daily print copies and access by up to four digital devices to the full online version of The Straits Times, is priced at $34.90 per month. But with the special discount offered, AIO subscribers will be charged $29.90, a slight increase from the current price of $28.65.
To allow print subscribers to experience the full range of ST content across platforms, all print-only subscribers will be automatically upgraded to the AIO package, unless they choose to opt out.
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said the paper had held off raising prices for many years.
"We did so despite the heavy investments to build up our newsroom and transform it into one that now delivers content to readers throughout the day on any platform they prefer," he said.
In a personal note sent to subscribers this morning, Mr Fernandez added that ST was offering AIO subscribers a special discount to thank them for their support as subscribers over the years and to allow them to enjoy the full range of ST content in print, as well as on their digital devices.
"When major news stories break, such as the week of national mourning at the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew or during the general election last year, the newsroom was able to deliver up-to- the-minute content in words, pictures, videos and graphics, across platforms and round the clock," he noted.
A redesign across platforms last year won the ST several accolades, including Best News Website and 10 other awards at the recent Digital Media Awards Asia organised by the World Association of Newspapers. In a first for Singapore, the It Changed My Life video series also won the top prize at the World Digital Media Awards, beating competition from Asia, Europe and Latin America. The award went to BBC News in 2014.
The changes are the result of a recent pricing review by media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) of all its newspaper titles to recoup investments in newsroom capabilities for the digital age, as well as to cover higher wages and increased costs of materials and transportation over the last decade.
In recent years, newspapers all around the world have raised cover prices amid declining revenues. These include USA Today, which doubled its cover price in 2013, and titles like The New York Times, Financial Times, Sydney Morning Herald and Malaysia's New Straits Times, which all raised cover prices by between 15 per cent and 25 per cent.
The Straits Times is also rolling out various digital access packages, details of which can be found at the SPH's online subscription portal: www.sphsubscription.com.sg
As part of its pricing review, SPH is raising cover prices of a number of its English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil newspaper publications by up to 25 per cent. The New Paper will see its cover price remain unchanged, as will the group's Chinese student newspapers.
In addition, SPH has introduced a number of bundled deals that allow subscribers to buy two titles at a discount.
Customers who subscribe to both The Straits Times and The New Paper will pay $49.90 monthly - a 15 per cent discount. For the same price, The Straits Times can also be bought with Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, which is a 20 per cent saving.