Star P.M. goes mobile
Last fall, Star P.M. asked its readers for some feedback on the future of the downloadable newspaper. Today, readers' demands will be answered. Star P.M. launches a daily mobile service and has tweaked its existing downloadable editions to cater to consumers who have a passion for entertainment.
Commuters will no longer have to print out versions of the Star P.M. downloadable newspaper to take on their homeward trek. Starting today, the Toronto Star has launched Star P.M. Mobile, a new service that allows readers to download the product to their Blackberry, Palm, PDA or mobile phone device. The service is free and subscribers can sign up at www.thestar.com/starpm. They will also receive a daily SMS text message alert when the edition is ready to download.
The non-mobile Star P.M. downloadable service was launched last fall. Since then, an early edition of the paper was available for download at 3:30 pm with a second edition available at 4:15 pm, after the financial markets close.
Starting this week, there will be ‘slight changes to the two editions, according to Don Blair, Toronto Star manager of communications. Although the early edition remains at 12 pages, he says the section has been reformated to contain more celebrity and arts news. The second edition will contain more business and sports coverage. Both editions will continue to include news, lifestyle, horoscopes, recipes, weather and event listings.
The changes were made following a survey conducted last October and November by Star P.M.. ‘We are offering it on mobile because people are still looking for access to news,’ says Blair. It’s a great service for commuters.’ The Toronto Star will not reveal its subscription numbers, but Blair says the company is ‘happy with feedback from its subscribers.’
Star P.M. began promoting the changes on its website (www.thestar.com/starpm) on Feb. 14. A notice has since been included in the email blasts to remind subscribers when their daily 3:30 pm and 4:15 pm editions are ready for downloading.
At the end of October 2006, Star P.M.‘s email blasts invited readers to take part in an online survey about the product for the chance to win tickets to a Toronto Raptors game. One of the questions in that survey asked if readers would be interested in a product similar to Star P.M. if it was available for download at 11:30 a.m. Sources at the Star later told MiC that such a product was not in development.
Last week, Alliance Atlantis was advertising in Star P.M.‘s downloadable pages to promote CSI: New York reruns on its History Channel. Other advertisers included Lazyboy Furniture Galleries, GM Cadillac, Global Television, Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart and President’s Choice.