Readers of the Wall Street Journal in key English-speaking Asian markets Hong Kong and Singapore will only have a couple more weeks to get their hands dirty opening up their morning newspaper.
While it has already been reported that Hong Kong readers will need to switch to digital subscriptions after October 6, Campaign has also obtained a letter sent to Singapore subscribers informing them of the same change. An Asia-Pacific spokesperson for parent company Dow Jones declined to comment on whether other Asian markets will be similarly affected, and also chose not to provide updated circulation numbers.
“Due to changes in service” the letter provided by a Singapore subscriber states, WSJ subscribers can revert to an online package of enhanced digital products that include the entire daily version of the newspaper. They can also request a PDF of the US newspaper if they prefer. Readers who do not change their subscriptions by October 6 will receive prorated refunds.
Earlier this summer, the Financial Times reported that the WSJ would be cutting back on print distribution outside the US to focus on digital subscriptions. While Dow Jones had not commented on specific markets, it told the FT, “We are constantly examining the balance between print and digital at a time when we’re seeing sharp growth in customer demand for digital.”
Falling sales in print advertising revenue and a growing appetite for interactive digital content is a trend that most publishers in Asia have long been aware of. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that newspaper revenues in Asia-Pacific peaked in 2013 and has projected ongoing steady declines through the rest of this decade.
Just last month, Singapore’s Mediacorp ceased printing the free tabloid Today, while Haymarket Media converted print subscribers of Campaign Asia-Pacific magazine to premium digital content.
Matthew Miller contributed to this story.